With over 15 years of service under its belt, the Access and Sustainability Advisory Service (ASAS) will now continue for another five years thanks to further funding from City Bridge Trust.
“City Bridge Trust is pleased to support the Access and Sustainability Advisory Service for London. Access improvements can be costly and small charities often cannot afford these vital building works. Access audits can be the first step towards improving access to buildings, making them more accessible and user-friendly for the whole community.” – Geraldine Page, Funding Director
Access for disabled people
ASAS was launched in January 2006 to provide free support for organisations looking to make their premises more accessible for disabled people. The service is based within the Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE).
The service helps organisations by providing one to one access advice and supports grant applications for City Bridge Trust’s Connecting the Capital grant, which provides funding for an access audit and capital works.
Inclusive to everyone
ASAS recently conducted a survey asking organisations about current levels of accessibility and the impact of any access improvement works. Although a lot of organisation have reported improvements, there is still a long way to go.
Many are still operating from older inaccessible buildings that are in need of improvements to enable even the most basic access standards such as getting into the building.
Where access improvements have taken place this has enabled organisations to provide a wider range of activities more inclusive to everyone.
Natasha Davies, ASAS Advisor, said: “New funding is great news for ASAS as it provides a critical, free service for the not-for-profit sector to help create a more inclusive London.
“In the last 15 years many ASAS clients have seen significant access improvements to their existing buildings and these improvements have had a direct impact on the lives of disabled users.
“The organisations we work with provide essential support for their communities and our work helps ensure barriers in the built environment are removed so disabled people can access this support.
“Breaking down barriers in the physical environment can also create more opportunities for disabled people to engage with services, activities and employment opportunities in London.”
Plans for the future
This year, ASAS has continued to run online training sessions for London-based not-for-profit groups online on managing access and inclusion, and have provided shorter sessions on grants and funding for access improvements.
Over the next five years, the service plans to provide one to one support for 30-40 charities per year, helping them to make their buildings and external environments more accessible for all.
ASAS also plans to train 35 delegates each year on managing accessibility. By delivering this training, ASAS wants to ensure organisations have an increased awareness of disabled people’s needs, the Equality Act and inclusive design.
Further information on City Bridge Trust’s Access Audit and Capital Costs grants for Access improvements can be found at www.citybridgetrust.org.uk.
If you think your organisation may benefit from ASAS, email our ASAS advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.