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  • Octagon-And-Westlands-Inclusion-Group

Octagon & Westlands Inclusion Group

posted 15 Nov 2022
Octagon & Westlands Inclusion Group

We want to hear directly from disabled, deaf or neurodivergent people who would like the chance to talk to us about barriers they have experienced when attending cultural events and venues and what works well for them.

The Octagon and Westlands Inclusion Group is being established to enable disabled people and those with lived experience to be at the very heart of our organisation. We are looking to understand what we already do well so we can continue to do it well and talk to us about how we can improve our organisation to better support individuals with access needs.

We want to bring together and hear from disabled, deaf or neurodivergent people, carers for disabled people, individuals with long-term health conditions, regular visitors to the Octagon and Westlands and those who may never have entered our venues before.

Members will shape and influence our offer from our accessing our venues to the opportunities we present across the county.

We are encouraging all interested individuals to get in touch and register your interest, with our first meeting in December 2022.

Start date: November 2022

End date: Ongoing - individuals can join at any time.

If you are interested in this role you can either complete our Register Your Interest Form, pop us an email at octagontheatre@SouthSomerset.Gov.Uk, call us on 01935 462415 or arrange to speak to us face to face.

Who this opportunity is open to?

  • Anyone who identifies as having a disability or long-term health condition (including those with sensory loss, neurodivergent, people with mental health issues, and / or people who are learning disabled).
  • And/or someone who cares for a disabled person
  • Users of The Octagon Theatre and Westlands Entertainment Venue
  • And/or those who don’t consider themselves art-goers

Your Commitment

We would be looking to meet with the access group a total of 3 times each year. These meetings will take place in person at our venues and online, depending on member preferences.

We will be asking you to discuss your own lived experience, represent and act as a voice for disabled people locally and regionally.

At the meetings we will be identifying areas where there is a lack of cultural provision and/or access for people with disabilities in Somerset, personal and lived experiences (good and bad) of attending or participating in arts and cultural events, and what experiences you would love to see happen locally. Plus updates to discuss the progress we’ve made and experiences people have had since.

As a Thank You members of our Inclusion Group will receive…

  • Free Footlights Membership, with benefits for members including priority booking, discounts to performances, exclusive offers and members only waiting list for returned tickets of sold out performances.
  • Invitations to selected performances, benefits include free tickets and refreshments (subject to availability).
  • Free refreshments (soft or hot drinks) to any in-person Inclusion Group meetings at either of our venues.
  • Expenses to in person meetings will be reimbursed and any access requirements will be met.

Aims of the Group

  • To raise awareness of disability issues faced by patrons to our venues and events, and similar venues across the country, including physical and perceived barriers experienced by Disabled People with a range of physical, cognitive and mental health conditions and impairments.
  • To deepen the knowledge of disability equality and inclusion issues experienced by audience members, participants, volunteers, staff and visitors, encouraging understanding of the many aspects of disability equality and inclusion.
  • To identify good practice to be shared, preserved, celebrated and amplified.
  • To identify ways we can improve our service and opportunities for Disabled People to access and take part locally.
  • To provide opportunities for social and professional networking amongst group members.

Your contact for this opportunity is:

Katherine Hoskins – Arts Engagement & Outreach Officer


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