People with access needs and their companions can enjoy free entry to the Shakespeare Family Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon from 10 – 12 March in conjunction with national Disabled Access Day.
Throughout the weekend, visitors can explore Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Hall’s Croft, and enjoy a range of specialised interactive activities for free, including memory box making at Shakespeare’s Birthplace, scented tussie-mussie making at Hall’s Croft. There will be special touch tours of the outdoor sculptures at Shakespeare’s New Place taking place on Friday 10th March at 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm. Visitors can also enjoy performances throughout the day at Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage by the in-house acting troupe Shakespeare Aloud.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is committed to providing opportunities for people of all ages and access needs to enjoy their visit to the historical Shakespeare Family Homes. Figures from The Quality of Life in Warwickshire study, commissioned by Warwickshire County Council in 2016, found that the number of residents in Warwickshire aged 85 and over is projected to increase by 180% by 2037 and the number of people dependent on care is also projected to rise by 77.6%. These statistics have further fuelled the Trust’s agenda of making its historic sites accessible to all.
Becky Cund, Director of HR and Administration at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said: “We are striving to improve access to our heritage sites and collections for all. Thanks to partnerships with organisations such as Dementia Friends, Blue Assist and Widget, improvements can already be seen across our properties and we are delighted to be taking part in our second Disabled Access Day. Redeveloping New Place into a fully accessible site enabled us to improve the quality of welcome and support for visitors with differing access needs and we are now focusing on extending access across all five sites.”
Earlier this year The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was awarded a grant of £24,000 to further improve the visitor experience of its world-renowned collections and the five Shakespeare family homes. The grant, jointly funded through a partnership between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Wolfson Foundation will enable the Trust to develop new audio resources to help blind and partially sighted visitors explore more of the content at the historic Shakespeare houses, and within its digital collections.
For more information on Access at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, please visit: shakespeare.org.uk/access/ or contact 01789 204016.