Creating a safe space at events

Cessnock City Council is teaming up with Ability Links NSW to roll out an inclusive tent to provide locals with a place for time out at community events.

The ‘Including You Event Tent’ initiative is aimed at giving people a quiet space to take solace in, at often loud and busy
 community events.

“Events can often be very overwhelming, the Event Tent will provide a supportive environment, and will be especially helpful for those who have a disability or a special need,” said Cessnock City Mayor Bob Pynsent.

The Event Tent, an initiative of Ability Links NSW, is aimed at a broad section of people in the community with a disability, as well as their carers and families.

It is also for people with illness or injuries, and older people or parents with prams.

The tent will have fidget toys, weighted blankets, books, sensory toys, as well as wheelchairs and sensory devices available for people to use.

“We are very pleased to have the support of early adopters like Cessnock City Council, our partners in this venture,” said Ability Links Community Engagement Coordinator, Gabriel Wingate-Pearse.

“Already, the Including You Event Tent has been greeted with enormous enthusiasm by people for whom attending public events without support has been a real challenge.

“They can now plan to participate more fully in events and that is a big plus for the entire community.”

Council hopes the Including You Event Tent will support more people to participate in community events and encourages residents with special needs to look for the distinctive Including You Event Tent logo at upcoming local events.