Since 2012, we’ve had a group of disabled customers meeting with members of THSH and CBSO management twice a year to discuss issues affecting disabled visitors here.
The meetings are very informal, usually last about an hour or so and refreshments are provided. They give us an opportunity to hear the advice and opinions of regular visitors on a wide range of issues, which have recently included the launch of our new Access Scheme, parking facilities for disabled people and planning for the first ever relaxed performance, more news of which we’ll bring you soon.
We’re now looking for new members to join the group and so took the opportunity to ask current member and regular THSH visitor Judy Bainbridge [JB] to share her experience to date.
- Julie Sadler, Head of Front of House Services
THSH: Hello Judy thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Please can you tell us a little about yourself and how you became involved in the THSH Access Scheme?
JB: I am a wheelchair user and responded to an invitation to join the access group as I have been attending concerts regularly. My husband is also disabled with a life limiting lung disease and we both participate in the group.
THSH: What has working in the group been like for you?
JB: The team are lovely to work with and show a great deal of common sense in dealing with the problems faced by disabled patrons. Access has never been a problem and I feel that the views I have offered have been listened to.
THSH: What message would you give to potential group members to encourage them to be part of the process?
JB: I would encourage all disabled patrons to tell THSH if they face any problems in attending any of the venues in the knowledge that they would be listened to and knowing that a solution would be provided if it is possible.
THSH: From a customer’s point of view, why do you think it is important for music organisations like THSH to place accessibility at the heart of its offering to visitors?
JB: If a person with access difficulties cannot access the venue they are unlikely to even try to attend. The message that THSH cares about accessibility means that audience member’s with difficulties feel they can be part of this cultural community.
THSH: Do you have a favourite concert or show that you’ve seen at either Town Hall or Symphony Hall in the past, and is there an event you’re particularly looking forward to coming up?
JB: I think my favourite concert I have attended recently is Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. This is just my favourite piece of music and the performance is always breathtaking – I don’t mind who performs this its always excellent! I am attending the Karl Jenkins’ Armed Man concert in November. Another stunning piece.
If you have a disability, regularly attend events at Town Hall & Symphony Hall and are interested in getting involved we would love to welcome you to the group. For more details please contact Julie Sadler via Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0121 644 5167.