Our Achievements

In 2014, we won a volunteer award at the Dudley Council for Voluntary Services (DCVS) award ceremony. It was for our commitment to volunteering.

Dudley Park Audits:

The audits were completed by a team of disabled people who looked at all the paths, play equipment, seating, signage and any other facility in each of the parks. We noted our findings and compiled an access audit with recommendations where improvements could be made.

Because of topography, certain parks such as Marsh Park, Brierley Hill cannot be recommended as suitable for people with some disabilities. However, most parks have a disabled-friendly route identified as ‘accessible’ suitable for some wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

These ‘accessible’ routes are posted on the notice boards near each park’s main entrances.

Click here to follow the link to the Council’s website to find out more about the parks and open spaces in your area. http://www.dudley.gov.uk/see-and-do/parks-open-spaces/

Accessible Play Equipment:

Because of funding acquired by Dudley MBC, primarily ‘The Play Path Finder’ project and the park access audits completed for the Council under the ‘Liveability’ fund, all play equipment installed in the borough’s play areas and parks, was discovered to be ‘inaccessible’ for children with all types of disability.

There was no wheelchair accessible play equipment in any of Dudley’s parks, and children with visual impairments had nothing to stimulate them in play. This meant that children with disabilities and their siblings and friends, could not play together.

A.I.D. was instrumental in helping the Council, alongside the disabled children’s group ME2, to both identify the needs of all children to play together, regardless of ability and identify the types of accessible play equipment required to achieve that aim.

A.I.D., after extensive research, identified a wheelchair accessible roundabout that can not only be accessed by wheelchairs, but can also hold pushchairs in a safe manner with lockable sections.

These roundabouts are more expensive than similar previously installed play equipment but are worth the extra money to enable children of all abilities to play and help wheelchair using children to feel ‘included’ in play with others.

Because of the cost of this piece of equipment, the Council made a strategic decision to install one wheelchair accessible roundabout, in each of the boroughs' quarters i.e. one in the north, west, east and south.

At the time of going to print, there is one at Tenscore, Sedgley, one at Stevens Park, Wollescote, one in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge and one to be installed at the Cott Lane play area.

For a full list of wheelchair accessible roundabouts and other accessible play equipment, please search the Dudley Council web pages for details.


Audio guides:

For people with a visual impairment, accessing information can be difficult particularly when an individual wants to retain their independence. This can be achieved with audio information.

Dudley Borough Council have prepared audio access guides for some of their places of interest and facilities such as the Glass Works.

These can be requested from Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 or online


In partnership with the Primary Care Trust (PCT), Dudley Borough Council have installed a health hub in some parks.
This is a building that can be used by groups for exercise classes.
These are staffed, part of the time with staff that are proficient in exercise programs to help us all to be fitter.
These parks have also had outdoor exercise equipment installed, the selection of which A.I.D. advised on.

Full instructions are posted on all of the equipment and whilst most are not wheelchair accessible, there are some pieces which can be accessed from a wheelchair like the hand cycle pictured below

“Dudley Healthy Towns is a Department of Health (DoH) national pilot scheme that supports the national Change 4 Life movement. Its aim is to develop innovative ways to prevent obesity through supportive environmental change.

This has been done through increased activity opportunities via the development of five ‘Healthy Hubs’ and a network of ‘Active Corridors’. Each Healthy Hub is a local park that has had a building with toilets, an activity ranger, improved play areas and footpaths and the provision of new outdoor gym equipment. It is particularly in relation to the outdoor gym equipment where Access in Dudley’s (AID) input was invaluable.

AIDs’ role started right at the beginning in 2008 when they were asked to assess a pilot gym in the borough for accessibility for people with differing degrees of disability. Their experience with their members and their knowledge of the range and scope of certain conditions meant that the equipment became more inclusive than exclusive. This input then informed how the Healthy Towns equipment was implemented, to include lower heights, signage and contrasting colours. Post implementation, a further review was held during a site visit and it was identified that the exercise bikes could be a problem for some users who had to step on to a moving part. It was suggested that a fixed step could be developed to bye- pass this problem, this was subsequently adopted as good practice by the company and is on all the hub sites. The input from AID has I believe enabled greater use of the equipment from all ages and abilities, and their input is always realistic and supportive, they recognise the real world situations that organisations work in and support them to be inclusive, therefore providing a meaningful service for the borough.”

Dean Hill
Physical Activity Programme Manager, Public health, NHS Dudley. Food and Nutrition Programme Manager, Public health, NHS Dudley. Head of Healthy Towns, Public health, NHS Dudley. Dudley MBC.

What we are doing:

Parks Standards:

Delroy Levy 31/8/60 - 14/11/2016, pictured on outdoor gym equipment holding the Parks Standards.

The ‘Park Standards’ document was formally adopted by Dudley MBC in 2013. The document was written to establish standards above and beyond those in the BT Countryside Standards for formal parks and other open spaces.

These ‘park standards’ have been co-written with members of staff based at Dudley MBC’s Directorate of Urban Environment, now PLACE, and has been supported by Cllr Stanley and Cllr Banks (retired), who was the Disability Champion at the time of publication.

After auditing over 30 parks and play areas, A.I.D. wrote this document with the idea that any plans for new parks or refurbishments/additions to existing parks should be improved so that disabled people can access and enjoy the park's facilities more easily.

This adopted document could be the design guidance for all development around the borough and we hope that if the planning department instructs all planners and developers to use the guidance document, who knows what changes for the better we may see in our built environment.

The document can be found on the Local Authority website. www.dudley.gov.uk

“The Access Design Guidelines which we have produced with Access In Dudley(AID), have not only raised our awareness of access issues – as designers and managers of parks and open spaces, but have shown us that by making simple and often relatively inexpensive adjustments, we can ensure that many more people can enjoy the Borough’s enormous wealth of parks and countryside.

Access In Dudley has carried out access audits on a significant number of our key parks and nature reserves. Their recommendations have been thorough but always pragmatic. On certain sites, the topography makes it almost impossible to provide access for all, but with the help of A.I.D. we have been able to identify certain routes which can be used by people with limited mobility, be that wheelchair users or the elderly.”

Sally Orton
Former Head of Museums, Greenspaces and Bereavement Services
Culture and Leisure Services
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Dudley Market Place Redevelopment:

Access in Dudley, amongst other interested parties and bodies, consulted on the redevelopment of the historic market place. A.I.D. recommended that the town’s new toilets had a changing places facility installed. This is a much larger toilet than a standard ‘disabled toilet’, with additional facilities for showering and an adjustable bed to enable the toileting needs of older children and adults with multiple or complex disabilities to be catered for. www.changing-places.org

This addition means that there are now facilities in both Stourbridge and Dudley as well, as at Merry Hill.

Access In Dudley bought a boat!

As disabled people we know that there is a limited opportunity to take part in exercise and outdoor activities. So, when Netherton Water Sports Centre got in contact with us to undertake an access audit, we got involved with the newly formed Dudley Rowing Club to initiate an accessible rowing project where members of our group made up a quad A.I.D. rowing crew.

Access In Dudley Rowing Team could not skull well because of their disabilities, so a sweep boat would be required for the team to be able to row together.

Access In Dudley, with the help of British Rowing’s Chris Farrell and with the support of Netherton Water Sports Centre and Dudley Rowing Club, applied for funding from Sports England to purchase a suitable boat.

We took delivery of the stable quad in August 2016, and with the help of British Rowing’s Jo Atkinson, Maddie Millichap, their Disability Officer, and the Dudley Rowing Club’s Coach, Laura Tuckwood, the boat was set up and was officially launched on the 1st September in the same year by the Deputy Mayor David Tyler and MP James Morris.

We have successfully given several disabled and vulnerable groups, including those with mental health issues, sessions in the boat. Some have benefited and enjoyed it so much they have returned to take up other sessions at the rowing club.

If you or members of your group would like to take up the opportunity to try out the boat for size, please contact Tina on email for more details: info@accessindudley.org.uk
or telephone Tina on our contact number: 01384 569505.

Similarly, if you are aware of or have funding which would enable A.I.D. to provide rowing sessions for people, please do not hesitate to contact us either by phone, 01384 569505 or email info@accessindudey.org.uk

Please see our own facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Access In Dudley

or this site’s gallery and news articles to follow the progress of the rowing project. Dudley Rowing Club also has a Facebook page with some of the project’s pictures available.