Allotments should be accessible to all social groups. Unfortunately it is all too often the case that allotments are not accessible to people with disabilities. Making your site disability friendly can and does change lives for the better.
Things to consider
1. Ensure that plots are located near the entrance to the site.
2. Make plots more accessible by constructing raised beds.
3. Space beds for easy access for wheelchair users. Access can be helpful if the beds are constructed like a table with space underneath to allow the wheelchair user to face the planting area.
4. Make sure there is a flat hard surface between and around the beds.
5. Consider installing benches and chairs not only for sitting but for a handy sowing area.
6. Consider purchase of long handled tools for those not confined to a wheelchair and can manage to work a plot.
7. Accessible water supply and easy to use compost facilities are essential.
8. Hard surface paths leading to the plot and toilet facilities.
9. Consider all levels of potential disability, impaired site or hearing, other physical disabilities as well as mental health issues. It would be advisable to contact relevant organisations involved to visit the site, before work begins to pull together ideas.
If you don't have the funds, materials or people with the knowledge of what could be needed in creating a disabled friendly environment it could work out to be an expensive project. These projects would definitely rely on and probably qualify for a grant and there are organisations that will be only too willing to help fund worthwhile and beneficial projects.Help and support of other plot holders will be essential. A friendly welcoming atmosphere is crucial.
ORGANIATIONS and USEFUL CONTACT
A small national charity the encourages gardening projects that change lives. If you should have difficulty gardening THRIVE has a website to give help and advice and will help you find easier ways to enjoy your hobby.
ALLOTMENTS FOR ALL