Monday, 08 February 2016

Grange Disability Action Group


This list is based on the personal experience and knowledge of group members and information kindly provided by Age Concern South Lakeland. Inclusion does not imply a recommendation.

We will amend or add to the information as changes come to our notice – please let us know if you have fresh information which you think could be useful to others or if you have any comments: ring Tony Shelton (tel: 38927).

Phone numbers are Grange (015395) unless otherwise stated.

(Personal care, shopping, housework etc).

Leonard Cheshire Disability - Community Services: c/o River View Day Centre, Sandes Avenue, Kendal LA9 6BL Tel. 01539 735735

Cumbria View Care Services: Lowther Parade, Kents Bank Road, Grange LA11. Tel 35450

Homecare Brancaster: c/o Pendrill Suite, Cartmel Grange Care Home, Allithwaite Road, Grange LA11 7EL. Tel 32028

Carewatch: Wildman House, Yard 127, Kendal, LA9 4EN. Tel 01539 740955.

Beamsmoor Care at Home: 125 Highgate, Kendal (01539 736353) or 5, Union Street Ulverston (01229 588588).


Grange Library: large print books.

Cumbria Libraries Home Delivery Service: for people with mobility or health problems who cannot visit their library. Contact Kendal library (01539 713520) or Barrow Library (01229 407370).

Meals on Wheels: Cumbria County Council – Adult Social Care and Catering; Bay View, Kents Bank Road, Grange (tel. 34730);

Talking Books: 020 7388 1266.

South Lakes Talking Newspaper Association: contact Bruce Carnaffin (01539 720172) or Ian Hoyle (01539 725913). For anyone who is registered blind or partially sighted or certified by GP as unable to read N12 print or anyone else who has difficulty reading newspapers.

Talking Newspapers (and Magazines): 01435 866102;

Shop deliveries: Fletcher’s Greengrocers; Kents Bank Post Office.


Abilitynet: a national charity helping disabled adults and children use computers and the internet at home or at work. Tel. 0800 269545
Computer Solutions for people with sight problems: contact Charles Ely, Sight Advice Centre, South Lakes Society for the Blind, Stricklandgate House Kendal. Tel. 01530 742633;


Leonard Cheshire Disability (North West): 01925 414115.

MS Society, Westmorland South Lakes branch, Kendal. Contact: Margaret Brockbank, Branch Secretary 01539 728352.

Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB): Helpline: 0845 7669999

Barrow & Districts Society for the Blind: tel. 01229 820698 (covers Grange)

South Lakes Society for the Blind: 01539 742633

Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) information line: 0808 8080123; textphone 0870 6033007.

Cumbria Deaf Association: 5, Castle Street, Kendal; 01539 773131

Cumbria Low Vision Service: for people with sight problems, who have difficulty reading or watching TV or who are registered as visually impaired. The Low Vision team will assess your vision and provide magnifying aids and training and advice. Ring 0845 055 9990 for an appointment at Sight Advice Centre, Stricklandgate House, Kendal; Grange Clinic; Goodly Dale health Centre, Windermere; or Furness General Hospital, Barrow (For more information: about Kendal and Windermere clinics ring 01539 742633; about Grange ad Barrow clinics, ring 01229 820698).

SHIP (Support for Hearing Impaired People): Vera Coakley via Age Concern South Lakeland; tel 01539 728280. SHIP coffee mornings at Finkle Street resource centre where leaflets also available. Local meetings in Grange – contact Vera Coakley (as above).

Age Concern South Lakeland helpline (help and advice for older people on housing, benefits, care, bills, heating etc): 01539 728180. Resource Centre, 17 Finkle Street, Kendal. Free Information Sheets available on: Who Can Help in South Lakeland (contacts for help for older people); Equipment to Make life Easier; Home Care.

Grange Citizens Advice Bureau: Hampsfell Road; tel 33100.

South Lakeland Mind: support for people with mental distress. Office: 106a, Highgate, Kendal, Tel 01539 740591; email:

South Lakeland Carers Association: 5, Castle Street, Kendal LA9. Tel 01539 815970.


Disability Living Allowance Enquiry line: 0800 88 22 00. Textphone: 0800 24 33 55

Housing Benefits: South Lakeland District Council: 01539 733333 ext. 7172.


Scooters, Wheelchairs and Home Equipment: sales and repairs

Advanced Mobility: 95a, Highgate, Kendal LA9 Tel 01539 725615

RDK Mobility: 1, The Square, Milnthorpe, Cumbria. LA7 7QJ. Tel. 01539 563776. Also in Morecambe.

BJMobility North: 85-87, Euston Road, Morecambe, LA4 5JY. 01524 411613; Freephone 0800 163082; 197, Rawlinson Street, Barrow: 01229 877995

Bay Mobility: Wheelchair repairs (including call outs): 01524 65835

Motability: enables disabled people to use their government-funded mobility allowances to obtain a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter. For cars, tel 0845 456 4566. For powered wheelchairs or scooters, tel 0845 607 6260.

Insurance for cars, wheelchairs and scooters
Fish Insurance, 2-4 Rivers way Business Village, Navigation Way, Preston PR2 2YP Tel: 01772 724442

Wheelchair and equipment hire

Shopmobility, scooter and wheelchair hire (for shopping etc). Membership fee and free use. Level 3, Westmorland Centre Car Park, Kendal. Tel:01539 740933. Email: . Also available at Quaker Tapestry Centre, Kendal; Holker Hall; Levens Hall; Bowness Bay; Ulverston (Coronation Hall TIC); Cross Keys Hotel, Milnthorpe.

British Red Cross (South Cumbria): loan of items of medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, bed rests and commodes on a short term basis. Service Co-ordinator: Hilary Lane, (( Unit 3, Riverside Business Park, Natland Road, Kendal, LA9 7SX. Tel 01539 721504.


Local Taxis (with wheelchair accessible vehicle):
Economical Taxis Ltd, (P& J Bushell), Flookburgh. Tel.58901.
G&A Taxis, 2 Applerigg, Kendal LA96EA. Tel 01539 728259; mob. 07979 221228.

Train: ‘Journey Care’ to arrange personal travel assistance: 08457 44 33 66. A free service. To apply you need your booked tickets, specific train times and 48 hours notice. Ring and explain that you want assistance travelling from A to B (maybe changing at C). They will take details of your route and train times and, where applicable, make your seat reservations. When you arrive at your station,let the staff know that you have booked assistance.

Buses: X35 route Kendal to Barrow uses low floor buses - but not always!

Community Transport South Lakeland: Voluntary car service throughout South Lakeland – for trips to medical appointments, hospital visits, shopping, social visits etc. Tel 01539 742637
89 735598
Rural Wheels: door-to-door transport for people in some rural areas of Cumbria, when they want it and at reasonable cost. Shopping, Visiting the hospital, friends, doctor, dentist, optician. Tel. 01228 606721

Blue Badge parking scheme for disabled people: for advice and information or an application form ring Cumbria County Council customer services 01228 606060 or your local Social Services office.


Riding for the Disabled, Westmorland Group: tel. 0845 450 6956. Furness Group: tel. 0845 241 5308

Lakes Leisure: Ulverston Leisure Centre Tel. 01229 584110Kendal Leisure Centre Tel. 01539 729777. Swim and gym facilities available for disabled visitors (enquire for details)


South Lakeland District Council Access Officer: South Lakeland House, Lowther Street, Kendal LA9… Tel 01539 733333

Cumbria County Council, Adult Social Care: County Offices, Kendal LA9 4RQ; tel 01539 773377.

Tim Farron MP for Westmorland and South Lonsdale: Acland House, Yard 2, Kendal LA9 4ND. Tel 01539 723403

Equality Rights Commission: information and advice about disability discrimination and rights: 0845 6046610.

Grange Disability Action

Barbara McCaffrey: 35263; Doug and Margaret Ratcliffe 34385; Tony Shelton 38927.

If you would like a large print version of this information sheet please ring 38927.

August 2009



Grange Disability Action (GDA), has been named ‘Campaigning Action Group of the Year’ by the international charity Leonard Cheshire Disability which supports similar groups throughout the UK. GDA was singled out from nine other groups from all over the country.

Lora Fullbrook, Local Campaigns Coordinator for Leonard Cheshire Disability said that competition was strong but added:

“Grange Disability Action has made a tremendous impact on the lives of local people in their community. Through their campaigning they are developing many physical improvements around the town but they have also become an advisory group for local businesses and people. Their united front and their comprehensive coverage of campaigns have seen them go from strength to strength”.

GDA was set up in 2008 by disabled residents, carers and volunteers to work for safer and accessible streets and buildings for the growing number of residents and visitors with mobility, sight and hearing problems. Members have been working with local councils and councillors, other charities and groups and with local businesses.

Founder member Barbara McCaffrey, who has used local Leonard Cheshire day services for 20 years and has been involved in some the charity’s national projects, chairs the group. She said:

“From the very beginning we set out by working with, not against, councils and businesses. We’ve only been going for about two years but this approach is paying off. We’ve found a lot of goodwill even if not much money to spend on improvements. We have had to learn to be patient too. It’s hard work and it’s going to take a long time before Grange is really safe and accessible but this award is a great booster and will help us keep going.”

So far GDA has
• Surveyed access problems on Grange streets in a working relationship County Councillor Bill Wearing and Cumbria Highways to set up an annual programme of works – new improvement schemes are due to start soon.
• Held discussions with The Co-operative about improvements to their local shops, two of which are now accessible, with a third on the way.
• Helped and advised small shops about ramps and other improvements.
• Set up discussions with developers and architects about planned new developments.
• Drawn up an information sheet on services and facilities for disabled people.

And Doug Ratcliffe, wheelchair user and vice-chair of the group, is drawing up Grange’s first comprehensive Access Guide with information on access facilities in shops and hotels and public buildings. Doug, who has recently published a book of easy Lake District walks for people with mobility problems, also stressed the importance of working with people:

“The Guide is being produced in full cooperation with local businesses and organisations. It emphasises the facilities that are there not what might be missing. As well as helping residents, I want the Guide to promote Grange as a town that welcomes disabled visitors – that’s good for business.”

Tony Shelton for Grange Disability Action. May 2010


Progress Bulletin for March 2010 

Streets Access

The Current Programme
• Improvement to kerb and pavement by the Halifax on Main Street Handrail at Crown Hill roundabout (we raised the possibility of a guardrail on the corner for extra safety but Highways felt that this could form a hazard to traffic and could narrow the pavement too much).
• Dropped kerb at the Victoria Hall.
• Dropped kerb to improve access to Nutwood surgery (this was originally excluded at GDA’s request).
• Pig Lane pavement improvement:
This would be an expensive scheme and GDA were concerned that it might not do enough to make a real difference: Highways agreed to discuss the design with us before agreeing to go ahead.
Works were due to be carried out early in 2010 but the effects of snow and floods have delayed them. We are told they will go ahead as soon as possible.

Future Years
For 2010/11 It was agreed that the next priority should be Allithwaite Road with the following priority schemes:
• Obstructive tree outside Berners Close flats: Highways to look at solution and feasibility.
• Dropped kerbs at the Yewtree Road junction.
• Dropped kerbs across the main road near the junction of Thornfield Road as an interim measure to allow wheelchairs to cross over to avoid Thornfield itself (no dropped kerbs) and the narrow Mayfield Terrace pavement. GDA asked that the Thornfield and Mayfield problems be looked at as part of the Berners Vision development.
Highways will add these to the list of requests for funding via the Dropped Kerb Programme in 2010/11 subject to the County Council’s budget approval by the Local Committee in March 2010.

In addition CCC suggested that access improvements on Kents Bank Road could be included in the proposed next phase of resurfacing, planned for 2010/11: GDA suggested improved dropped kerbs and surface with tactile paving or white lining at the entrance and exit to the car park. The dropped kerbs are now better at the Albert Road junction, thanks to the recent resurfacing of the road.

Hazards and Obstructions
GDA presented CCC with the new report on access problems for sight impaired pedestrians (Unfriendly Streets 2).

Highways offered advice on reporting temporary obstructions and hazards – see separate note (this will be added to the GDA Information Sheet).


Shops and Other Buildings

Co-op Stores, Kents Bank Road:
• The Travel Shop: the proposals discussed with GDA have now been carried out with a wheelchair ramp, uncluttered shop layout and loop system. An excellent scheme.
• The Food Store: two possible schemes for an improved ramp system, as discussed with GDA last year, have been designed and we have been sent drawings for comment. We hope to have a meeting to discuss them in the near future.

Age Concern shop and parade:
Unfortunately there has been no sign of progress on the proposals Age Concern agreed with their landlord. Their shop and the Bakery have been provided with portable ramps but there is no progress on the main problem – the step up from the pavement which is owned by someone else who has not yet agreed to do anything. We have followed this up but so far with no success.

Clare House Lane Bridge
GDA wrote to SLDC and at our suggestion Age Concern SL did the same. The council has now voted to provide the extra money required to put the bridge back. According to the press the bridge should be back in late summer. We hope so…

Berners Vision Development
Progress on the new developments is awaiting the completion of legal contracts and leases etc. Wheelchair access across the proposed new Berners Close Bridge will almost certainly be by Radar key lifts.

We have seen drawings of the new health centre which looks as though it will provide well for people with disabilities.

Abbott Hall Hotel Pool
Following our request last year (at Charmian’s suggestion) new easy steps with handrails have been installed to use in getting into the pool.

Grange Access Guide

Doug Ratcliffe’s survey of shops, hotels and other businesses is now well under way with a view to progressively building an online guide to access facilities in the town and when it is completed producing a printed version to help residents and promote Grange to visitors. You can see the guide at

General Introduction to the Group (written March 2009)

Grange  Disability Action (GDA) is a Campaign Group supported by Leonard Cheshire Disability.  It aims to make the town of Grange-over-Sands in South Cumbria safer and more accessible for everyone with a disability. 

Grange may be valued for its friendly small town atmosphere but it is a distinctly unfriendly place for the many people with mobility problems.   The growing number of local people with disabilities includes wheelchair and mobility scooter users, people with impaired sight or hearing – and those recovering from a sporting injury, accident or serious Illness. A good many disabled people are pensioners.

There are just too many obstacles and hazards in Grange. Some parts of the town centre are virtually ‘no-go’ areas for some people. And too many shops and hotels are unable to cater for people with disabilities. So access problems affect visitors as well as residents - and are not good for business.

GDA aims to get something done. We are a friendly group of local people – a mixture of disabled people, carers and helpers. We aim to raise awareness of the issues and work for improvements with local councils and other agencies, traders and property owners. Our supporter, the national charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, provides funding, advice and expertise.

Would you like to join us?
We welcome new members. The more we are, the more we can learn from members’ experience and the more we can do.

Members can –

· Help with spreading the word and writing letters.
· Help with comments and suggestions.
· Report problems.

The full group meets every three months – chance for members to keep up to date with progress, discuss problems and help plan our action.

If you would like to join GDA or need more information please contact:

Barbara McCaffrey, Laith Croft, Windermere Road, Lindale LA11 6LD
Tel. 015395 35263


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