2020 Access Awards winners presented

Individuals and local organisations working to improve accessibility for people living with disabilities were recognised today at the 2020 Tamworth Regional Council Access Awards at the Tamworth Community Centre.

“The quality of nominations was outstanding which is a terrific indication of how mindful our community is of ensuring people with disabilities in Tamworth and the surrounding areas are not disadvantaged,” said Tamworth Regional Council Manager Cultural and Community Services, Kay Delahunt.

“Council holds these awards each year and each year it’s amazing the innovative concepts that are developed as well as the selflessness of volunteers in organisations and individuals who go out of their way to assist people with disabilities.”

The winner of the Access Award for Business and Community is the Tamworth Mountain Bikers Inc. for designing and creating five kilometres of mountain bike trails for people with disabilities. A feature is the purpose-built 800-metre SouthPark trail, built to Adaptive Mountain Bike guidelines (designed by Break the Boundary). The trail includes the all terrain features of a standard mountain bike trail with a rock garden, jumps, gully runs and climbs but can be used by “adaptive” riders. The trail was opened in July 2020 and the organisation held its first adaptive cycle race in September.

The Highly Commended Award winner is the Nundle branch of the CWA for building a driveway access for vehicles up the steep entrance of its Jenkins Street building, which also houses the Nundle Community Health Service and the Nundle CWA Preschool. The project also included ramp and handrail access into the building.

The Individual Award winner is John Tucker for co-ordinating destination trips for people with disabilities and elderly local residents. John planned and organised 18 trips in 12 months to places such as the Crofters Weaving Mill at Spring Ridge, Quirindi Heritage Village and a Bithramere property to watch sheep shearing.

The winner of the Highly Commended Award for an Individual is Kira-Jane Chidgzey for creating a magazine feature to raise awareness for support services available to the people with disability community to fill the gap created when this year’s Links for Life Disability Expo did not go ahead due to COVID-19 health orders about public gatherings.

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