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Local volunteers launch second access guide in the Chichester District


Chichester Access Group (CAG) has launched its second, free access guide, which collates details of accessible public buildings and businesses. The new Midhurst and District Guide covers the whole of the western side of the Chichester District, to the north of Chichester City, and includes a large area of the new National Park.

This is the second guide of the group's series, after launching their Chichester City Guide last year. Their aim, with the support of Chichester District Council, is to improve the independence and wellbeing of disabled residents and visitors.

Earlier this year, CAG were honoured to welcome the Hon. Charles Pearson as their Patron. The group has also become a registered charity. It is hoped that this will enable them to expand the work that they do to encourage the Chichester District to become a more accessible and welcoming place for people of all abilities to visit.

The CAG volunteers are either disabled or have a connection with disability. Their own personal experience enables them to fully appreciate the needs of the disabled and the every-day challenges they face in accessing buildings and services. 

The 48 page Midhurst and District Access Guide includes information on accessible:

·       medical facilities;

·       shops;

·       community and leisure centres;

·       places to stay;

·       and many other categories of venues.

The guide not only contains vital access information, but also acts as a directory of what is available in that area.

Glynis Spencer, the groups new Chairman, says: "I am extremely proud of all the effort the members of the group have put in. It is no easy task to assess an area as large as the Chichester District, much of which is rural. All their hard work is rewarded by the encouragement and good wishes of the residents and businesses in the areas that our guides cover and we look forward to completing the series. We would not have been able to have achieved what we have without the support we have received from Chichester District Council and our other sponsors."

Cllr Myles Cullen, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism and Car Parks at Chichester District Council, says: "We are proud to be able to support Chichester Access Group and the work that they do. The series of guides is unique in concentrating on all the amenities accessible to the disabled within the district. They also enable parents and grandparents to assess where they might easily be able to take a small child in a pushchair.

"The group know first-hand how difficult it can be accessing businesses and shops within the district and so it's really pleasing to see how many businesses and buildings are accessible. Hopefully it will encourage even more people to visit our beautiful district."

The group received funding to start the project from Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council and Sussex Community Foundation.

The guide will be available for free in public places, such as libraries, council offices and tourist information centres, as well as from their website

You can also request a copy by:

·       leave a message on 07818 688490 (there is a £2 charge for postage and packing);

·       write to CAD, PO Box 695, PO19 9NE; or,

·       call into Chichester District Council's reception in East Pallant, to pick up a free copy.