Local Conversation helps secure access slope for residents

08 April 2021

An access slope to the Leiston Centre main doors has finally been opened after years of campaigning by Mrs Joan Keys.

The Local Conversations project in Haverhill South, which is funded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Health Lottery East, first supported the campaign to provide an access slope in 2020 when the issue was brought up at a forum meeting by Joan Keys.

Mrs Keys first asked for safe access to the Leiston Community Centre in 2014 then again in 2015 after her husband George had to make the ‘torturous journey’ over broken tarmac and potholes to access the rear of the building via the centre car park in a wheelchair.

The Local Conversation in Haverhill South supported Mrs Keys in taking the issue to Haverhill Town Council again, where the campaign was supported by Cllr Dave Smith, ward councillor for Haverhill South on both West Suffolk Council and the town council, who saw the installation of the ramp through to completion using his locality budget.

Cllr Smith said: “I was delighted to be able to assist in making this wonderful community asset truly accessible to all residents after hearing of the problems they faced.”

Mrs Keys said: “Now, anyone using wheels, can use and enjoy the great facilities the Community Centre has to offer.”

Local Conversations is a People’s Health Trust initiative which involves supporting residents to develop a shared vision for their community and take local action on issues that matter to them. The Local Conversation in Haverhill South, supported by Community Action Suffolk, has been listening to concerns from residents about moving around the Clements estate and aims to work alongside residents in conducting a disability access audit.

Residents interested in getting involved in the Local Conversation in Haverhill South and the disability access audit can contact Helen Cullup on 07407021514 or email [email protected].


Media enquiries:

For media enquiries about People’s Health Trust and Local Conversations, please contact the Trust’s Media Officer, Holly Beattie – 020 7749 9105 / [email protected] 

Notes for editors:

Health Lottery East

Health Lottery East is a lottery which exists to address health inequalities in the East.  The lottery is licensed by the Gambling Commission and raises funds through The Health Lottery which are distributed by People’s Health Trust. www.healthlotteryeast.org.uk 

The Health Lottery is operated for and on behalf of 12 Community Interest Companies across England, Scotland and Wales, all holding society lottery licenses issued by the Gambling Commission. www.healthlottery.co.uk

The Health Lottery is an independent British lottery scheme with a difference. It manages 12 lotteries which operate under the banner of The Health Lottery. Each lottery is licensed by the Gambling Commission and represents a different region of Great Britain. 

These 12 regional lotteries will operate in a rotation, meaning that every area in England, Scotland and Wales gets a share of the funds raised. All are run for one specific purpose: Tackling health inequalities in their respective areas. By supporting local health causes, The Health Lottery is making a real difference every week to thousands of people across Great Britain. Over £100 million has been raised by society lotteries through The Health Lottery.

People's Health Trust is an independent charity investing in local neighbourhoods to help create a society without health inequalities. It works closely with each of the regional and country lotteries raising money through The Health Lottery, and distributes grants. www.peopleshealthtrust.org.uk

People living in the poorest neighbourhoods in Britain die, on average, seven years younger than people living in the richest neighbourhoods. What’s more, they will spend 17 years more of their shortened lives with an extra disability and have a lower quality of life. We believe that where people live should not unfairly reduce the length or the quality of their lives.

Local Conversations is a People’s Health Trust initiative which involves supporting residents to develop a shared vision for their community and take local action on issues that matter to them.

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