District held up as a beacon for inclusivity

JPCT 26-08-12 S12341082X Paralympic Flame in Horsham. Handover of flame to Leader of HDC by Tyler Paul  and Michael Hobbs, -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 26-08-12 S12341082X Paralympic Flame in Horsham. Handover of flame to Leader of HDC by Tyler Paul and Michael Hobbs, -photo by Steve Cobb

Activities for disabled people are now available in almost every ward of the district after two decades of work by a dedicated team at Horsham District Council.

Head of housing and community development at Horsham District Council Trevor Beadle recently told councillors how the Horsham Paralympic Flame event attended by hundreds of people last month was the result of 20 years of investment in inclusive activities.

Sue Rogers, HDC cabinet member for a safer & healthier district, with Trevor Beadle, head of housing and community services launching the housing consultation

Sue Rogers, HDC cabinet member for a safer & healthier district, with Trevor Beadle, head of housing and community services launching the housing consultation

He said: “The Paralympic Flame Celebration event was organised by the council’s community development team to ensure that Horsham district residents had an opportunity to feel part of the once in a lifetime event that is the London Olympics and Paralympics.

“However, the event also sought to highlight and showcase Horsham District Council’s contribution to making art, sport and other cultural activities accessible to all.

“Year by year over the last 20 years, the council has created new accessible arts and sports opportunities that have gained it a county, regional and national reputation in this field.

“It is this reputation which ultimately resulted in our ability to attract a piece of the Paralympic Flame to Horsham.”

Since 2004 £428,000 has paid for activities for disability related activities and more recently around £143,000 granted through the National Aiming High programme has enabled the team to continue to deliver activity for disabled children to include respite for parent/carers.

He said: “Over the last 20 years the council’s community development team has delivered services in every ward or parish except Shermanbury, Wiston and Woodmancote.

“It has helped establish over 200 new self sustained clubs, activities or sessions (ranging from village cinema to baseball) that attract over 230,000 attendances each year.”

Today the Aiming High Reaching Higher programme provides the following weekly activities for children and young people with additional needs:

Dance - Monday 5-6pm, Queen Elizabeth II School, Comptons Lane, Horsham

Trampolining - Tuesday, 4-6pm, Greenway School, Greenway, Horsham

Table tennis, Tuesday 6-7.30pm, Greenway School

Athletics, Wednesday 5-6pm, Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre

Rebound therapy - Wednesday, 4.30-6pm, Steyning Leisure Centre; Thursday 4.30-6pm QEII School, Horsham

Cricket - Thursday, 4.30-6pm, Collyer’s School Sports Hall, Hurst Road, Horsham

Percussion - Friday, 4.15-6pm, QM Studios, Denne Road, Horsham

DJing - Friday 6-8pm QM Studios

Archery - Friday 5-6.30pm, Sports Hall, Forest School, Comptons Lane, Horsham

Badminton - Saturday 2.30-5pm, Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre

Video Production - 2.30-5pm, QM Studios, Horsham

The team aims to add cycling and wheelchair basketball to the programme next year. For more information contact project co-ordinator, Helen Crooks on 07734 231052 or email helen.crooks@horsham.gov.uk