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Chislehurst Rocks breaking down barriers for disabled music fans

PUBLISHED: 10:32 03 June 2019

Katrina O’Leary, from Need2Change, with her daughter Sophie and Matt from Mobiloo welcome the organisers' attempts to make disabled access much easier. Picture: Mobiloo

Katrina O'Leary, from Need2Change, with her daughter Sophie and Matt from Mobiloo welcome the organisers' attempts to make disabled access much easier. Picture: Mobiloo

Archant

As the Chislehurst Rocks festival returns this year to the Chislehurst Recreation Ground, the organisers are making it easier for those with access problems.

They said every year thousands of people and their families miss out on attending events because they have complex needs that go beyond having access to a disabled toilet, and they want to make a difference.

Following extensive feedback from their wheelchair users, Chislehurst Rocks will be adding what they call a robust "Inclusion" package to support people with additional needs and their families.

This includes early entrance before the general public, toilets with attendants, hoists, showers and adult changing tables, a quiet zone, buddies from Riverside School providing assistance and directions, Sunflower lanyards for "hidden disabilities", and clear signage.

Chislehurst Rocks was launched in 2011 as part of the Chislehurst Festival and quickly became an important date in the

calendar.

Rachelle Harte, CLEAR Synergy director and event organiser, said: "We want to help all families attend safe enjoyable events and make happy memories. We are grateful for the support we have had from all the local groups that have had input into what an inclusion package should look like and are excited to be launching the package at our flagship event."

Admission is free and the day includes two stages with live music and dance; a fun fair, free to attend workshops, therapy donkeys, crazy golf, lazar quest, a land train, and soft play.

Hogwarts Express train driver Leo Bond will also be there to meet Harry Potter fans between noon and 2.30pm.

The event is on Saturday, June 22 from noon for families with a person with additional needs in their party and 1pm for the general public.

It is being held at the Chislehurst Recreation Ground, Empress Drive.

For more information, visit chislehurstrocks.co.uk.

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