Access Fylde Coast

Access Fylde Coast

Access Fylde Coast is an exciting new project, playing a major part in boosting tourism and supporting the local economy across the Fylde Coast. They’re doing that by making it an outstanding location for people with disabilities.

See the Internationally Acclaimed Street Dance Crew in Cleveleys

ILL-Abilities hope to inspire others on the Fylde Coast to have “No Limits” with their FREE workshop on 13 July. That’s after opening the stage for Kylie Minogue at Lytham Festival!

ILL-Abilities street dance workshop in Cleveleys with Access Fylde Coast

“I was told I would never be able to walk, yet alone dance,” says Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, founder of the international dance crew.

The Canadian performed at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Vancouver. He’s excited about flying to the UK with his dance crew, they come from countries including Brazil, USA, Korea, the Netherlands and Chile. It’s part of Access Fylde Coast’s initiative to address negative experiences across the district for residents and tourists with health or disability conditions.

ILL-Abilities street dance workshop in Cleveleys with Access Fylde Coast
ILL-Abilities street dance workshop in Cleveleys with Access Fylde Coast

The talented dancers have been nominated for an Olivier Award and are seen as global influencers in breakdance and diversity. They’ll bring their energetic, breath-taking moves to the stage to open the show for Kylie on Friday July 12 at Lytham Festival. The free workshop at Cleveleys Plaza is on July 13 from 12 noon until 2pm.

“My father always taught me that your first failure is not to try,” says Luca. He also runs inclusive dance workshops globally to inspire others not to place any limits on themselves. Luca believes that dance is the ultimate form of self-expression and anyone can participate in their own way.

“When I’m practicing, I’m challenging myself. How can I drop down to the floor, dancing with the crutches but then finding a creative way of letting them go without just dropping them.

“I can be extremely tired, but the minute I walk into the class there’s this rush of adrenaline and then I forget about it. If I have an idea for a move or for something that I want to learn, I just bring it into the classroom. Often what’s really cool is that my students teach me just as much as I’m teaching them.”

Adds Luca, who discovered what hip-hop was all about when he moved to Montreal, “To me life is a dance; as long as our hearts are beating, a rhythm is being created. Sometimes it’s the slightest movements that make the biggest difference in a performance, just like in life; it’s the little things that matter.

“My whole life I was told I would never be able to walk, let alone dance. Today, I live my life to dance, I live to share my passion with others, and I live to encourage limitless possibilities by doing things our own way through the belief of NO EXCUSES, NO LIMITS.”

The FREE workshop is inclusive to all ages, all abilities, and all different skill levels. ILL Abilities aim to help others build confidence to surpass their own limitations by discovering their own strengths and creative movements with the help from this remarkable troupe.

You don’t have to be a dancer to join this free workshop. But for anyone who is a dancer, it will be a fantastic opportunity to work with and be inspired by one of the world’s leading and influential street dance crews.”

There’s no need to book. Just turn up at Cleveleys Plaza at 12 noon and have fun.

Get a FREE Access Guide for your Business

Get a FREE 30 minute advice visit for your business from an access champion. They’ll give you free ideas and tips on how to make your business even more accessible and increase your customer-base.

Get in touch to book your visit. Phone 07938 502033 and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

What does Access Fylde Coast do?

The Access Fylde Coast project helps businesses in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre to be accessibility friendly to visitors and local people.

FACT: Businesses that are helpful and accessible to disabled people will attract more customers.

Access Fylde Coast will help your businesses to maximise its customer base. Do that by making products and services available to people with long-term health conditions and disabilities.

Making it easier for people with health conditions and disabilities to access hotels, retailers, tourist attractions and events will enable you to benefit from additional spending. An estimated £14.8m is expected to be generated over the next three years – shouldn’t your business be part of it?

The project has been made possible thanks to £985,922 funding from the Coastal Communities Fund.

Events with Access Fylde Coast

These events are hosted by Access Fylde Coast. A pioneering project spearheaded by Disability First and funded by the Coastal Communities Fund. Boosting Tourism, Bolstering The Local Economy and Breaking Down The Barriers of Disability.

Free workshop with globally-renowned ILL-Abilities Dance Crew

13 July from 12-2pm at Cleveleys seafront

Ill Abilities at Cleveleys Seafront, hosted by Access Fylde Coast
Ill Abilities at Cleveleys Seafront, hosted by Access Fylde Coast

Fresh from wowing crowds at Lytham Festival with their energetic and breath-taking moves ahead of Kylie Minogue’s performance at Lytham Festival, the Oliver Award-nominated, international disability breakdance crew ILL- Abilities will be hosting a FREE street dance workshop.

In this 2- hour FREE workshop from 12 noon to 2pm you’ll build confidence to surpass limitations by discovering your own strengths and creative movements.

This fun workshop is inclusive to all ages, all abilities, and all different skill levels. No matter what your situation may be ILL-Abilities believes dance is for everyone. No need to book – just turn up!

British ParaOrchestra – The Nature of Why

7 September at 7pm at Winter Gardens

British ParaOrchestra - The Nature of Why. Hosted by Access Fylde Coast
British ParaOrchestra – The Nature of Why. Hosted by Access Fylde Coast

*Coming to the North for the first time *
The world’s only large-scale ensemble of professional disabled musicians, who have played alongside Coldplay and at the closing ceremony at the 2012 Paralympics, are bringing their latest piece, The Nature of Why to the North West for the first time.

Including a pre-performance touch tour for blind and partially sighted audience members, Audio Description via headsets and British Sign Language.

A Night of Comedy

8 September at 7pm at Lytham Hall

A Night of Comedy - hosted by Access Fylde Coast
A Night of Comedy – hosted by Access Fylde Coast

**Be prepared to cry with laughter!**

Headlined by Britain’s Got Talent 2018 runner-up Robert White, who has Asperger’s, this night dedicated to comedy will have you howling in your seats. It will also feature BBC New Comedy Award finalists Arran Simmonds and Jamie McDonald – AKA ‘That Funny Blind Guy’ and hosted by Steve Royle. There will be British Sign Language interpretation at this event.

Evelyn Glennie LIVE in Fleetwood

12 October at 11am and 7.30pm at Marine Hall

Evelyn Glennie LIVE in Fleetwood. Hosted by Access Fylde Coast
Evelyn Glennie LIVE in Fleetwood. Hosted by Access Fylde Coast

Deaf virtuoso solo percussionist, double GRAMMY award winner and BAFTA nominee, Dame Evelyn Glennie.

  • Join in as she hosts her performance workshop In Conversation with Evelyn Glennie – “Who’s Listening?” at 11am.
  • Followed at 7.30pm by a recital by Evelyn giving you a chance to hear her eclectic range of music styles. Accompaniment by pianist Philip Smith.
  • There will be British Sign Language interpretation at this event.

Accessible Toilets

Everyone needs public toilets when they go out. For many people knowing where they are is vital in planning a journey. Bladder and bowel problems create hidden disabilities for many thousands of people.

Visit Fylde Coast is compiling a list of toilets across the Fylde Coast.

Changing Places are special toilet facilities where disabled adults can be changed. Find out where the Changing Places toilets are on the Fylde Coast.

The same website can be used to find Changing Places toilets anywhere in the UK.

Volunteer with Access Fylde Coast

Volunteer with Access Fylde Coast
Volunteer with Access Fylde Coast

Access Fylde Coast is looking for local people to volunteer for three different types of role –

The Buddy – Will support and accompany disabled residents and visitors to events. That’s events supported by Access Fylde Coast plus other accessible events, and trips to the theatre and cinema.

Event Stewards –  Will attend local daytime and evening events to welcome attendees. You’ll talk to people, signposting and providing them with information on the Access Fylde Coast Project and the useful Blackpool Transport Travel App.

Access Guides – Will be based in or around Fylde Coast Tourist Information Centres. Their role will also be to offer advice about Access Fylde Coast, and promote the travel app. The access guide will be disability champions, providing information and a signposting service to help visitors and local people with disabilities/accessibility issues.

Becoming an Access Fylde Coast volunteer:

No experience is required as training will be given. However you will need good communication skills and an awareness of disabilities and equality. Volunteers must also be honest and reliable. A DBS is required for the Buddy role (Access Fylde Coast will cover the cost).

You must also be willing to undertake an induction and short training sessions. Volunteers will be given full support and training on Disability Awareness, Safeguarding and First Aid. Plus, you’ll get regular updates, support and expenses from the Access Fylde Coast Volunteer Coordinator.

Get Help for your Business from Access Fylde Coast

You can get support with:

  • FREE sessions to find out how to welcome people who have a disability
  • Access FREE assessment of your premises to ensure they are disabled access friendly
  • There’s FREE support from a host of volunteers who can help you to prepare
  • Plus FREE grants to improve your business
    …and much more

Make sure that your business is taking advantage of the untapped spending power of the ‘Purple Pound’.

What is the ‘Purple Pound’?

The ‘grey pound’ is used to describe the spending power of older people. The ‘purple pound’ is the spending power of disabled people and their families.

It’s thought there are around seven million people of working age who all have some kind of disability. 

Collectively, those people and their families have a lot of spending power between them. So much spending power that’s reckoned to be worth around £249bn to the economy. That’s the ‘purple pound’.

Hidden Disability

When someone says ‘disability’ the first thing you may think of is a wheelchair. But that’s far from the whole story. Many disabilities and long term health conditions are invisible. They also control people’s lives in wide ranging ways which you might not imagine.

Making your business welcoming and accessible to everyone is not only a ‘nice thing to do’. It’s also a great way to make your business more profitable.

The purple pound is fast becoming a spending power that your business can’t afford to ignore.

More about Access Fylde Coast

Trailblazing project to bring £14.8m to local economy gets underway with high-profile backing

A FYLDE coast charity has launched a trailblazing £985,522 project to boost the local economy by making Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre an outstanding location for people with disabilities. It’s gained high-profile backing locally, even within its first few weeks.

Access Fylde Coast is spearheaded by Blackpool charity Disability First. It will help break down the barriers of disability. That includes hidden disabilities, such as sensory, mental health and learning disabilities. It will help business across the district benefit from an estimated £14.8m* of additional spending from disabled visitors.

A pioneering project

Stephen Brookes MBE, a national disability activist, this week lent his backing to the project, calling it a “pioneering project” that would make huge steps in “putting the Fylde Coast on the map”.

The Blackpool resident is also Rail Sector Champion for the Minister for Disabled People. He said: “It will not just make Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre a place that caters well for people with disabilities, but for parents with young children and for all. Everyone in the area has something to gain from this wonderful project.

“Blackpool Transport has worked on ensuring accessible transport for all. The Access Fylde Coast project will build on that so it’s not just accessible to get here, but is accessible when you are here. This could be rolled out as a best practice model for other coastal resorts across the UK.”

John Child, Managing Director of The Sandcastle, called the project a “fantastic opportunity” for businesses across the Fylde Coast.

A huge step forward

“It’s a huge, positive step forward to have an organisation like Access Fylde Coast now working to promote the wide and varied levels of accessibility that we have to offer in Blackpool and across the Fylde Coast,” said Mr Child.

“As one of the country’s leading accessible visitor attractions we’ve seen the benefits in the investment we’ve made in our facilities and team member training and the positive impact it has had on our business. Supporting local businesses and helping them to develop their levels of accessibility will have excellent benefits for the town and our visitors. It’s a fantastic opportunity and we wish the team every success.”

Alan Reid is CEO of Disability First. He says improvements over the past few years with accessible toilets and ramps to assist people with physical conditions have been good, but that this project would further advance that progress.

Improving local access

“Blackpool has a higher than average number of people living with disabilities and our work with local businesses and retailers to improve the service given to customers with disabilities will not just ensure it is accessible to tourists, but help a large number of residents too.

“We know people get concerned about costs involved – but actually it doesn’t have to be a major cost to help disabled people access businesses. Some people are not sure how to interact with disabled people and so we will support them through free disability awareness training or through access tips. We can show you how a slight change, whether a shop, café or retail set-up, would help people with visible and non-visible disabilities and boost your trade.

“Many of jobs on the Fylde Coast are reliant upon tourism. By making it a more accessible place for all people, our aim is that by attracting more disabled people to the area, we can help local business growth. An estimated £14.8m of additional spending could come from disabled visitors.”

The cash injection of £985,522 from the Coastal Communities Fund for the pioneering project was announced in September 2018 by Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, as part of a Government initiative to invest £250 million in our much-loved seaside areas by 2020 through dedicated programmes to help generate jobs and boost business.

The Access Fylde Coast team launched the new project in Spring 2019

Accessibility App

A new digital app is being created to link in with the popular and widely-used Blackpool Transport App. It will make it easier for people to find disability-friendly places, toilets and special facilities. Plus there’s a new ‘buddy’ system that will see volunteers linking up with both local and visiting disabled people. That way they can fully experience all that the area has to offer.

Have you downloaded the Blackpool Transport App yet? In the ‘Things To Do’ section you’ll find an Easy Read format and a British Sign Language video for many of the popular places here on the Fylde Coast. It makes finding out about attractions across the Fylde Coast that bit easier if you’ve got a sensory disability.

Find things to do with the Blackpool Transport App
Find things to do with the Blackpool Transport App

And, Access Fylde Coast will also be hosting a series of disability-friendly events. They’ll also be showcasing high profile disability performers at major events, Look out for them, including acts at the Blackpool Illuminations Switch On and Lytham Festival.

Disability First was named the most outstanding local charity in Gordon Marsden’s local heroes awards in December 2018. Alan Reid added “This project is unique, exciting and a real trailblazer. Everything we do will aim to break down barriers and make the Fylde Coast a positive and all-inclusive place”.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the Visit Fylde Coast website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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