On Thursday 3 December, Barnsley will be celebrating the International Day of Disabled People and the council is supporting the My Barnsley Too Forum for disabled people as they hold a ‘Tarn’ Takeover Day.
The event is based at the Better Barnsley shop on Cheapside and runs from 10.30am to 2.30pm with activities happening all across town.
Guided walkabouts of the town centre will be taking place with the town centre regeneration team giving disabled people, their friends and family an opportunity to see the changes being made in Barnsley and to suggest ways their needs can be met further.
The last walkabout session was a great success with the feedback given resulting in plans to modify the silver bollards seen around town to aid those with visual impairment, to create a sanctuary space in the new library for people with autism and to create a Changing Places accessible toilet, one of only 770 found in the UK. As part of the town centre consultation process it is hoped that further suggestions and ideas from the disabled community will be made during Tarn Takeover, helping to make Barnsley even more accessible.
The Tarn Takeover also includes Barnsley’s Safe Place scheme which is being relaunched and expanded to provide support to all people who may feel vulnerable when they are out and about. The scheme provides people with a number of shops, businesses and facilities in Barnsley where they can go for help and support if they are feeling anxious, intimidated, unsafe or vulnerable. Anyone can join the scheme and carry a safe place card.
Jason Webster, a member of the scheme said: ”I’m glad they’ve set the scheme up, it’s a good idea to help people with disabilities, including people who can’t communicate very well. I’m very happy that local businesses are supporting the scheme and know how to help us when we need it.’’
People are encouraged to bring friends and family along to learn about the free scheme and sign up to it and take part in the Safe Place treasure hunt that is taking place around a number of venues involved in the scheme. Participants will be invited to follow a map to five venues and to have their photograph taken outside of each one. Everyone who completes the hunt will be awarded a small prize.
The Disabled Go website, which includes an access guide to over 1000 venues in Barnsley, is also being relaunched and there will be a wide variety of services and the chance to have your say about the town centre.