Access All Areas events hailed a success by all

Buckinghamshire Council’s two recent Access All Areas events for people who are autistic and/or have a learning disability have been hailed a success by all who attended.

Access All Areas has been running successfully for several years. This year, for the second time, the event was split across two locations, with the aim of making it easier for a greater number of people to attend.

The event is aimed at people in Buckinghamshire who are autistic and/or have a learning disability. National data shows that people with a learning disability can really benefit from having more access to information that can support their physical and mental wellbeing. Access All Areas seeks to ensure people are aware of the range of services and support available to them and to encourage healthy lifestyles and wellbeing.

The first of this year’s events was held at the council’s Gateway offices in Aylesbury on 16 October and the second took place at Highcrest Academy in High Wycombe on 26 October. In total over 250 people attended, an increase on last year. Positive comments were received all round by both attendees and over 40 exhibitors. One person who attended commented: “First time I’ve attended, and it was great to see so many different stalls.” Another said: “Both myself as a parent and my son had great fun, with different variety activities and information.”

Some of the highlights included the chance for participants to take part in an accessible cricket session and also have a go on an accessible bike. Others got the opportunity to take a look inside an ambulance and meet the crews who attended the events.

The events featured information stands and interactive learning activities from charities and services who work to support and promote equality for autistic people and/or those who have a learning disability.

NHS teams were on hand, promoting health checks and giving information and advice on staying healthy. The teams were also able to give Covid-19 vaccines to those who wanted them – saving the need for booking an appointment at a GP surgery.

Angela Macpherson, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that our Access All Areas events continue to grow and improve year on year. This year we have seen our biggest number of attendees and everyone spoke positively about the day. It is so important that autistic people and those who have a learning disability know about the vast range of services and support available to them so they can access everything they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.”

Angela added: “Thank you also to all the exhibitors and organisations who attended and made the events so enjoyable and informative for everyone.”