ACCESSIBILITY STATeMENT

Date last updated: September 2021

Date for review: September 2022.

 

At Mendip Activity Centre, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to challenge themselves and undertake adventurous activities. We are continually working hard to make our activities and facilities as accessible as possible. Our activities all have a degree of physical and mental challenge to them and require a certain level of physical and mental fitness. Many of them take place in wild and adventurous environments. For some participants who require additional support, we may need to use additional equipment, implement adjustments and change our levels of supervision for safe participation. 

 

Whilst all our staff hold first aid qualifications, they are not qualified to assess the capacity of participants who may require additional support to undertake the activity. It remains your responsibility to undertake an assessment of the risks involved prior to participating.  For some participants who require additional support, the residual risks of injury may still be too great despite the implementation of additional measures, preventing safe participation.

If you think you'll need additional support during your experience with us, it’s really important that you let us know prior to booking an activity. We will be happy to talk through any accessibility questions with you and help advise what is best. Please email info@mendip.me well in advance. The more notice we have, the better we will be able to make adjustments to our system and staffing to be able to accommodate you and your party and arrive at the best possible experience.

 

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

Booking a private session may be more appropriate if a participant has additional needs. Here are a few examples of when additional support has allowed for safe participation:
 

  1. Hearing Impairment
    Most of our pre-activity safety briefs can be communicated using visual aids and simple adjustments if you give us notice to ensure these are in place. You may like to bring signers/ translators or hearing companions; we do not have translators.
     

  2. Visual Impairment
    Depending on the severity of the participants visual impairment, you may need additional instructors to support you and keep you safe.   The level of this additional sighted support will depend on a number of factors including the degree of impairment and age of the participant.
     

  3. Limb Difference
    If you use prosthetics, the security of prosthetics at height and in the water need to be considered. If you can comfortably travel around uneven land then you will be able to visit most of our sites. Some of our activities can be accessed with all-terrain off-road wheelchairs. It is possible to use specialist equipment on activities such as skiing, rock climbing, abseiling and canoeing. We are currently in the process of testing and developing some of this specialist equipment so please bear with us.
     

  4. Mental Health & Learning Difficulties
    Depending on the participants, you may need additional instructors to support you and keep you safe.  If a participant is unable to remain attentive during safety briefings and apply this to the session, the activity may not be suitable. Consideration must be taken for any participants that are under prescribed medication and whether this could affect them. Please disclose any medication you may be on. Groups with special needs may prefer to come on quieter days and book private sessions.
     

  5. Wheelchair Access
    We are very fortunate to be situated in the stunning Mendip Hills. Unfortunately, this does come with its limitations in terms of accessibility. Regrettably, some of our sites are not suited for wheelchair users or individuals with disabled mobility.  Some of our activities can be accessed with all-terrain off-road wheelchairs.


EXAMPLES OF THE MINIMUM SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR ACTIVITIES

  1. SAFETY BRIEF
    All participants will be given briefings on how to undertake the activity safely. All participants must be able to interpret and observe a 15-minute safety brief.  Participants are required to understand the consequences of not following the strict safety rules and advice. Instructors will be present the entire time and participants will be required to follow their instructions throughout the whole session.
     

Sandford Quarry

  1. Accessibility
    The quarry can be accessed by vehicle. The top of the abseil can be accessed by an off-road wheelchair. In Summer 2021, we will be installing portaloo-style toilets but not disabled toilets.

  2. Rock Climbing
    Participants will be required to climb a rock face; this can be likened to climbing a slippery ladder.

  3. Abseiling
    Participants will be required to balance and put feet against the rock face. With additional adjustments and notice, we are able to run wheelchair abseils.
     

Mendip Activity Centre

  1. Accessibility
    By Christmas 2021, the centre will be lift accessible with a disabled toilet on the first floor. The top floor is the café, and the first floor has access to the ski slope.

  2. Frisbee Golf
    Frisbee Golf takes place on rough terrain and requires participants to walk on uneven, sometimes muddy ground. Some of the course may be accessible by some all-terrain off-road wheelchairs.

  3. Try Caving (Sandford Levy)
    The cave is a 15-minute walk from the centre. Participants will need to slide into the cave and then will be required to walk.

  4. Archery, Air Rifle & Axe Throwing
    Our target sport sites can all be accessed by off road wheelchairs. Standard wheelchairs may be able to access our target sport sites. Participants will need to hold onto bows, arrows, or axes and use their body weight to draw back or throw the device.

  5. Bushcraft
    Our bushcraft site is a short walk across uneven ground into the woodland. With notice, we may be able to use a more accessible venue. Participants will be creating fire and potentially using bushcraft knives under supervision and instruction of instructors. They must be able to understand potential risk.

  6. Snow sports
    For skiing and snowboarding sessions, participants will need to be able to put on ski boots or snowboarding boots. Participants with poor coordination and balance may find that it takes them longer to complete our lessons.  We can run snowsport sessions for participants with additional physical needs. As an example, we have run sessions for visually impaired participants and participants with limb difference.

  7. Tobogganing
    Regrettably, the toboggan slope is not currently accessible by wheelchair. Our age limits for individual spaces booked on the tobogganing slope must be strictly adhered to.

 

Hewish

  1. Accessibility
    Hewish can be accessed by vehicle. There are portaloo-style toilets but not disabled toilets.

  2. Kayaking, Canoeing, Paddle Boarding and Raft Building.
    Participants will, as a minimum, be required to sit or kneel on the craft. Participants will need to be able to have some control over balance. They will need to be able to support their body weight in order to get back onto the craft in the event of capsize. We can run some watersports sessions for participants with additional physical needs.

  3. Assault Course
    Participants will need to be able to climb, crawl and slide their way around the course. Each element of the course will be treated as an individual activity and briefed in such a way.

 

Burrington Combe

  1. Accessibility
    Burrington Combe can be accessed by vehicle. There are toilets but not disabled toilets.

  2. Caving
    Participants will be required to walk up a steep hill to access the cave. In the cave, participants will climb low rock faces, pull on ropes, slide and crawl.
     

Mendip Lodge

  1. Accessibility
    Mendip Lodge can be accessed by vehicle. There are toilets in the general public area but not disabled toilets. There is a disabled access room and disable accessed bathroom as part of our accommodation; however, this is not always available as the room may be in use. Accommodaiton is on the first floor; it is wheelchair accessible by an alternative entrance.
     

Mendip Basecamp & Tented Villages

  1. Accessibility
    Regrettably, our campsite is not suited for wheelchair users or individuals with disabled mobility.