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Council launches new accessibility scheme for town centre events

A new scheme called Our Town Bands Together is set to launch in Horsham on 31 August at the annual Big Nibble food festival.

Horsham District Council’s Neighbourhood Wardens have teamed up with the town’s Butterfly Project and Our Town initiative to increase the accessibility of town events for vulnerable residents and visitors.

Horsham town centre events attract a high number of visitors, which can be stressful for some people.

Our Town Bands Together is a new initiative for people who feel they would benefit from subtly identifying themselves to event exhibitors and staff at town centre events by wearing a special lanyard. In doing so, it will highlight to those working at the event that the wearer may need extra time or support.

Following the success of a trial with members of the Butterfly Project at the Piazza Italia event earlier this year, this initiative is now being rolled out for Horsham District Council events across Horsham Town Centre.

Horsham District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing Cllr Tricia Youtan said:

‘I’m pleased to say that Horsham town is a friendly and supportive place to live and visit with most people, shops and stalls always ready and willing to help somebody needing assistance.

“What this initiative does is give vulnerable people the confidence to know that there is help at hand if they need it.

“The aim is to encourage people to be considerate of additional support that town visitors may require specifically during events. Those involved with the event are aware of the lanyard’s meaning and have been given guidance on how to help in the right way.”

A spokesperson from the Butterfly Project added:

“The lanyard can be used for all sorts of reasons, including hidden disabilities such as dementia or autism or even if English isn’t your first language. 

“There will also be a stall run by the Butterfly Project at town centre events with Our Town Bands Together ambassadors handing out the lanyards.”

The lanyards are free and available to everyone.  They can be picked up on the day of the event and returned to the Butterfly Project stall or information stand.

 Our Town Bands Together will be launched on Saturday 31 August in Horsham Town Centre at the Big Nibble, a food and drink festival organised by Horsham District Council.

For media queries please email press@horsham.gov.uk

By Gavin Hewins | Aug. 27, 2019, 12:30 p.m.