User access is the current focus of a major ongoing programme of improvements to the Church premises, which has already included a kitchen refit and installation of a brand new audio-visual system and the first of our automated doors.
These plans will provide push-button door openings in parts of the building, including the accessible toilet (which has now been installed), and two lift devices to make it easier to move from one level to another. All of these will benefit people with disabilities, mobility problems and in wheelchairs, as well as pram and buggie users.
The cost of this part of the programme is up to £50,000, £12,000 of which has already been raised. Although there is a ramp to the front door and push buttons to open the external doors, access into the Forum is by double doors which can only be opened manually.
The Forum is used by many community groups with coffee and tea served every weekday morning when permitted. It is also used for a monthly lunch club and for serving “Tea at 3” once a month which are enjoyed by many elderly people from the neighbourhood.
Parents and carers with babies and toddlers attend classes run by Baby Sensory and there is a weekly Toddlers group. If they take prams and buggies into the building opening the internal doors and accessing the baby changing area can be problematic.
Feedback from several the community groups:
The disabled toilet was deemed the priority and our thanks to Will Forster, Surrey County Councillor for Woking South, for allocating a part of his Community Allocation, and to Allchurches Trust for their grant, which has made it possible to proceed with automating the door to the accessible toilet.
Other areas that provide challenges are a short flight of stairs in the corridor that leads from the forum up to the Kitchen, Main Hall, Lounge, and toilets and the steps to the dais area in the Sanctuary.
We are considering the Axess lift as a potential solution given it can change from steps to a platform. The platform can then be raised to the required height for level access as seen below:
Please also email any any comments on this project or suggestions as to how improve access to and within the premises:
Our thanks are extended to the following for grants towards “Open Doors”: