Group which has fought for better disabled access could fold after 30 years

The Dereham and District Access Group celebrating its 25th anniversary. Picture: Supplied by Kate Wy

The Dereham and District Access Group celebrating its 25th anniversary. Picture: Supplied by Kate Wyatt - Credit: Archant

A group which has fought for better access for those with disabilities in a mid Norfolk town faces not being able to carry on unless it can find new members.

The Dereham and District Access Group has been running for the last 30 years and has campaigned for access around the town to be improved to better suit those with disabilities.

It was involved with making the car park next to Wright's Walk easier for those with visual impairments to get around and was also consulted over the redesign of Dereham Memorial Hall.

Vice-chairman Linda West said: "It's about making sure the town is accessible for everyone.

"The three leaders of the group, including me, are having to step down. It would be great if someone could come forward with some new ideas.

"We have been responsible for encouraging people and the councils to put in dropped kerbs.

"People are more aware that they are needed now but these things still get forgotten about."

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After first forming in 1989, the group has worked with Dereham Town Council and Breckland Council, as well as the police and housing companies, to ensure people's needs are met.

It was created under the aim of 'raising awareness of disability and influencing future design and thinking for all conditions of disability' and has seen its suggestions included in many road maintenance schemes.

The group is also run by chairman Julian King and secretary Kate Wyatt, who are also stepping down after many years of service.

If the group cannot find any more members to take over then it risks folding after 30 years of work in the community.

Mrs West added: "We would be happy to give advice and support for anyone who wanted to take it on. It needs to have a new approach.

"There are still things we need to watch out for. It helps other people too and not just those with disabilities, such as mothers with prams."

An open meeting is being held on Tuesday, May 21 at 2pm at Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham.

Anyone interested in getting involved can contact secretary Kate Wyatt by emailing