The main entrance to Alvechurch Village Hall now boasts a smart new set of steps, incorporating an access ramp so that wheelchair users or those with restricted mobility can use the front of the building for the first time.
The completed project, brought to fruition with help from a National Lottery grant, was unveiled by members of the hall’s management committee, as well as metalworkers Bill and Paul Duffett and architect Marc Worrall. (Tom Forrester, whose team built the ramp itself, was unfortunately unable to attend.)
The ramp has been designed to blend in with the rest of the hall as much as possible, using some of the materials from the previous steps. The pattern across the top of the fencing echoes the Arts and Crafts-style brickwork pattern that runs beneath the windows of the hall, while handrails in a contrasting colour have been provided to help people with visual disabilities.
The existing ramp at the rear of the building has not been removed and is still available for use.
Jan Brice and Annette English, who led the project for the village hall committee, told The Village: “We are really pleased to officially open our new accessible entrance. This was the most requested improvement when we asked our users and the community what they wanted, so it’s great to be able to deliver it.
“Although construction was slightly delayed due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, we hope that the ramp will provide the help people need to access and enjoy our lovely hall.”
Main picture: Lynn McEwan cuts the ribbon, watched by (from left) Hazel Watkiss, Steve Siddle, Norma Divine, Chris Davies, Annette English, Jan Brice, Marc Worrall, Julie Warrender, Robyn Sweeney , Maura Williams, Steve Duffett, and (in front) Jo Sweeney and Bill Duffett.