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Individual we support brings skills & knowledge to the planning process

Nathan, one of the individuals we support was employed at Newport Centre until the start of the pandemic – and has been asked to take part in an “inclusivity forum” to help completely redesign the new leisure facility in the city centre.

You may have read in the news that Newport Centre has closed, with £19.7m being invested to provide a new leisure centre and community health & wellbeing centre.

Having spoken to Nathan about his old role at the Centre, Maddy Cameron, Equality Officer at Newport City Council, offered him a place on the group, where he has been made to feel very welcome, with architects asking Nathan to support them from both a leisure centre user and staff member viewpoint.

Taking an active role

Nathan has been playing his part the meetings and has also included other individuals we support in the process, giving them the opportunity to feedback their thoughts and feelings to the group.

Nathan was tasked with asking fellow individuals about the barriers to accessing the pool, as this was the first area of design. The designers also agreed to meet Nathan and a few other individuals supported by Pobl, giving them the opportunity to offer opinions and ideas.

Significant changes to plans

There have already been significant changes as a result of Nathan’s involvement – and that’s the incorporation of two lifts, instead of just one, as was originally proposed. This was a direct result of concerns that Nathan and others raised regarding the long waits for a lift, which can often inconvenience and cause barriers for disabled people, or those needing or wanting to use the lifts.

Additionally, Nathan suggested that a licenced café should be incorporated in the plans, to provide him and others, with a safe space to meet and enjoy a drink together. This has been agreed and the operator is now in the process of sourcing a licence.

Inclusion and consideration

Nathan is doing a sterling job in ensuring all sectors of the community are catered for and considered and continues to provide insight and ideas to the forum.

What an excellent example of inclusivity in design. We’re looking forward to finding out how the project progresses and how Nathan’s views and ideas are incorporated into the final build.