Grant aid boost for Blues' disabled fans

Published date: 31 August 2012 |
Published by: Jim Green
Read more articles by Jim Green

Dave Williams and Rachel Nickless from the Inclusive Blues with Tracy O'Brien from Cable and Wireless and Inclusive Blues helper Brian Burns 

CHESTER FC has won funding to provide visually impaired fans with an improved match experience.

The Blues will receive a grant worth £4,500 from the Cable and Wireless Worldwide Foundation enabling the club to run a live commentary service for supporters with visual impairments at home and possibly away matches.

Supporters will be able to receive the commentary through a headset anywhere in the Exacta Stadium and it also works for those with hearing aids with the use of a loop system.

Dave Williams from Inclusive Blues group said: “We are really grateful to Cable and Wireless Worldwide as this is a great step forward for us as we strive to be a really inclusive club. We know that we have a number of supporters with visual impairments.

“Some attend matches but their enjoyment is lessened by not being able to see everything on the pitch.

“Others have stopped attending games and we hope that they will now return.
“We will also be reaching out to organisations in the area that work with blind and visually impaired people to encourage them to get down to the Exacta too.”

More than 300 groups applied to the fund and Chester FC were one of 12 successful bidders. The foundation stipulated that grants should be focussed on people with disabilities and be related to communications. The Blues won £4,500 and have been supplied with equipment by Access Audio who supply many Premier League and Football League clubs.

The new system also enables the club to provide facilities for those with hearing impairments at meetings and events held at the Exacta Stadium.

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