Aylesbury's inclusive Christmas lights switch on tonight

Aylesbury’s Christmas lights switch on takes place this evening from 5.30pm and Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) is delighted to announce it will be working with Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS) to provide additional support and guidance for visitors with disabilities.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 6:00 am
Aylesbury Christmas lights switch on, 2018

This busy event, held in Aylesbury’s traditional market square with historical infrastructure, makes delivering the event particularly challenging. However, AVDC and BuDs want the evening to be as fun, inclusive and as safe as possible for all visitors.

The closest disabled car parking is at Exchange Street. This car park offers 27 dedicated disabled spaces, as well as allowing Blue Badge holders to benefit from free parking in all spaces.

There are also a number of other town centre car parks that offer free disabled parking spaces. These can be found at: www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/section/car-parksTo help make the event as enjoyable as possible for all, stewards from BuDS will be managing a viewing area for guests in wheelchairs or those unable to stand for extended periods. Priority will be given to people with the highest needs. There is a hearing loop covering the disabled viewing area.

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BuDS will also be providing a quiet sensory room. Guests wishing to use this should see a BuDS steward beneath the arches at the bottom of Market Square (behind the stage), from where they will be escorted to the quiet area. BuDS stewards will be wearing official BuDS badges. There will also be a quieter informal viewing area under the arches for anyone who wants to enjoy the event without being in the main crowd.

The nearest disabled toilets will be in the BuDS office at the Judges Lodgings on Walton Street. These are not public facilities, but stewards will be on hand to provide access on the night for disabled guests only. Other disabled toilets nearby are in Friars Square Shopping Centre, but note that to use these requires a free Radar scheme key - available in advance from the shopping centre. Public disabled toilets are also located at Anchor Lane car park, Vale Park car park and Upper Hundreds car park.

Aylesbury Town Centre & Regeneration Manager Diana Fawcett said:

“I’m very pleased that BuDS is actively involved in this year’s Christmas Lights Switch On. And I’m sure that with their help, the event will be safe, inclusive and fun for all.”

Andrew Clark, Chair of Trustees at BuDS, added:

“BuDS is delighted to be able to support AVDC to make this very popular event more Fair4All. It shows that even in the most difficult circumstances more can be done to help everyone to enjoy events.”

More information on the event can be found here: www.visitaylesbury.co.uk/whats-on