Get Out Get Active improves accessibility for veterans
Today is Armed Forces Day – a day where many show their support for the people who make up the Armed Forces community. We’re proud to be supporting veterans in Wiltshire to be physically active through gardening.
A stately home in Salisbury is working with a charity supporting veterans to enhance community engagement. Arundells, a Grade II listed house, received a range of funding to improve the accessibility of the site.
A Get Out Get Active (GOGA) funded programme saw volunteers work with veterans from Alabaré, a charity supporting vulnerable, homeless and marginalised people, to clear the previously unused community garden space and install plant beds and a shed.
Staff from the Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living (WCIL) provided information and guidance to make sure that the home garden is as accessible as possible. WCIL staff praised Arundells’ staff commitment to making the space inclusive and supportive.
Arundells’ staff are so switched on and they want to get people involved that wouldn’t normally get involved and who wouldn’t normally go to stately homes. For me as a person with a disability, it’s the first stately home I have been to that I’ve felt comfortable and have been able to get around easily.
Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living staff member.
The community garden hosts a number of regular activity sessions supported by GOGA. These include a veterans group, and a young persons group.
A community garden is all about people. The plants are just the vehicle to come together. We don’t go into it thinking about how much veg we can grow, it’s really grounded in people first. My particular interest for them [volunteers] is that they feel that they are valuable and can just come in, sit down and have a cup of tea in their garden. This is about connection within the community.
Community Garden Coordinator.
After the success of the initial project, the Salisbury site is looking to secure additional funding. They are to make the house and gardens as accessible as possible. This includes constructing accessible temporary buildings on the stately home grounds. They also hope to explore how staff can offer guided virtual tours to visitors who are unable to access the top floor of the that has restricted access in the listed building.
This story is part of our campaign, #TheGOGAWay. Showing how the GOGA approach can help organisations do things differently across the UK.
About Get Out Get Active
Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Activity Alliance is the creator and lead partner. The programme is funded by Spirit of 2012, Sport England and London Marathon Foundation.