Peterhead holds 'Let's Talk About Accessibility' campaign

Peterhead residents recently had the opportunity to experience Peterhead town centre as a disabled person as part of the community council’s ‘Let’s Talk About Accessibility’ awareness campaign.

Community Councillors and members of the public along with Josh Mennie from Karen Adams office get set to tackle the town centre.
Community Councillors and members of the public along with Josh Mennie from Karen Adams office get set to tackle the town centre.

The group spent two days in Drummer’s Corner with a variety of mobility aids for the public to use in order for them to get a real sense of what it is like to be a disabled person in the Blue Toon.

Buchan Area Manager Amanda Roe was the first to accept the challenge. Shortly followed by Josh Mennie head of office and public affairs for MSP Karen Adams and Cllr Anouk Kloppert.

Mr Mennie commented: “Being pushed around in a wheelchair in Peterhead town centre really brought home the challenges people with disabilities or mobility issues face.

Josh Mennie and Anouk Kloppert trying out some of the aids

"I can’t wait to help further the positive work of Peterhead Community Council.

“The reception from shop owners and their staff was also incredibly receptive, and to be honest, most people were a wee bit embarrassed that they were unaware such minor alterations to their venue could do so much in really making the lives of wheelchair users that bit easier when navigating through the town centre."

One member of the public who also took part said: “Being in a wheelchair and being pushed around the town centre was certainly an experience and an eye opener.

"The cobbles are horrendous.”

The campaign also received backing from Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam.

She said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the Community Council’s ‘Let’s Talk About Accessibility Campaign’ and will continue to work closely with them on positive initiatives like this.”

Many members of the public went along to discuss issues they had experienced in the town including the difficulties caused by the cobbles, poor access to shops and a lack of changing place toilets.

On the second day of the campaign the group were joined by Andrew Millar Head of Roads who spoke to several members of the public about their concerns about access.

Sharon Bradford, community council chair, said of the event: “I am absolutely delighted at how effective our “Let’s Talk About Accessibility” campaign has been.

"Over the course of the two days we were able to engage in some really positive conversations with both residents and town centre businesses, which going forward will allow us to work collaboratively with town centre traders, Aberdeenshire Council and other partner agencies to ensure there is equity of access and a sense of inclusion for all.”

The community council has produced an accessibility toolkit to help businesses be more accessible.

More information can be found on the group’s Facebook page or by contacting [email protected]