Our project aims to give disabled people better access to and use of our sporting and social facilities. Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic presents some major challenges and our thoughts are with everyone at this most difficult time, we remain committed to completing our project as it is still much needed in support of those with disabilities in our community.
Lack of activity and social isolation are critical issues for those with disablement and we know this is a major issue for us locally so we are doing something about it:
* Working in conjunction with Stockton Borough Council, Tees Valley Sport and Sport England amongst others, Norton Sports Charity has embarked upon a programme to make a significant difference to our local community here in the North-east.
* Better access to our clubhouse through automatic doors and also installation of a number of pathways and ramps including to new accessible toilets.
* As part of the overall programme, we are planning to launch a pilot Parasports project covering badminton, boccia, bowls, hockey and tennis which would benefit hugely from accessibility improvements.
Unfortunately we have very limited resources so we desperately need to raise money to cover the costs of the accessibility improvements. Further details regarding Norton Sports Charity can be found below and also via our website and Facebook page.
JUST LOOK AT THE ENJOYMENT OF OSCAR AS HE TRIES OUT HOCKEY WITH MUM!!!!!!
SIMPLY INACCESSIBLE! URGENT NEED FOR BUILT-IN RAMPS, AUTOMATIC DOORS AND TOILETS FOR THE DISABLED...………………
People with disabilities are under-represented in use of our facilities and therefore we believe there is significant opportunity and potential to make a real difference to a very important part of the community. A concrete example of the difference our project will make is through the blind and physically disabled archers who are part of Norton Archers who are one of the sports clubs resident on the site.
How will the money be spent?
Raising £15,000 would enable us to do the following:
- install ramps and suitable paving to allow easy access to our clubhouse and new terrace
- replace a manual door at our main entrance with an automatic door thereby affording easy access
- create new accessible toilets to serve our function room
- improve access to our sports facilities. Should we exceed our crowdfunding target or be awarded any additional funds, then we would do more of this as the costs are well in excess of the initial target
As part of the annual review of our activities at the end of 2018, we recognised that we needed to do more for both the aged and also those with disablement which are both specified groups within our charitable objectives.
* Through 2019, the key part of this has been establishing what changes we need to make to our clubhouse to make it more accessible and user friendly for the disabled.
* Using input from an architect, from Stockton Borough Council and using Sport England design guidelines, we have identified the specific physical changes we need to make to achieve those objectives.
Part of the inspiration for doing this has been the success of the archery club with their blind and physically disabled members and also the positive response we have had when doing even small projects to help with accessibility. As an example of this, a family is now able to come and support our hockey activities as they can get their wheelchair right next to the pitch and the associated building.
* we hope that more disabled people will use our clubhouse and this will encourage them to be more active and use the sports facilities. This is exactly what we have found historically and most particularly with families where once they know what we have at Norton, they start to use the facilities much more.
* we will be carrying out a full site survey using the Sport England accessibility checklist in the near future. This will enable us to prioritise further developments once this project is complete which we hope will be by the end of November 2020.
* we also hope the improved access will be a springboard for a pilot parasports programme on our site. Our partner organisations including Stockton Borough Council have confirmed to us that there is a need most particularly relating to boccia, bowls, hockey and tennis for provision of better facilities for parasports.
* Stockton Borough Council have advised that they are looking for venues for parasports as they are in short supply in our area and currently do not meet demand. We are therefore working very closely with them on the project.
* Norton Bowling Club have already sought funding for disabled bowls because of demand and this is increasing as their players get older.
* we see many people on our site who are interested in getting involved in sport but there are barriers preventing them from doing so. In particular we see more parents and siblings wishing to get involved and we believe this will extend to include more people with disabilities.
Rewards - we do not expect something for nothing!
We would very much like you to support our project and would like to show you some direct appreciation if you can do this. Examples of what we have on offer are free hire of our sports facilities or free hire of our function room for an event of your choice. So if you have ever fancied that game of squash or would like to throw a party for whatever reason, here is your chance!
About Norton Sports Charity (https://www.nortonsportscharity.co.uk)
For over 140 years Norton Sports Charity and its' predecessors have been providing sport and social facilities for the local community. We have an experienced Board of Directors from a wide variety of backgrounds some with many decades of involvement with the Charity including several major projects and initiatives. Successes in recent times include:
* restructuring to become 'Open to All' rather than having a requirement for membership
* self-funded refurbishment of our artificial grass pitch
* since 2017, we have run a highly successful Outreach programme which has brought many new users to our site including to our new Community Forest. Involved in this have been local schools including ones with special needs units, local hospices and also Daisy Chain being an autism respite Charity who are our immediate neighbours.
- Winners of Community Sports Award across 800 voluntary organisations in Stockton-on-Tees
A SUCCESSFUL RECENT PROJECT AT NORTON SPORTS CHARITY - USE OF OUR NEW COMMUNITY FOREST BY AUTISM RESPITE CENTRE DAISY CHAIN