The Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre is the first arts centre in Northern Ireland to be awarded the “What About Me?” Welcome Award by Positive Futures, in recognition of the outstanding service that the Burnavon provides to people with a learning disability, acquired brain injury and autistic spectrum conditions.
The “What About Me?” Welcome Award recognises and encourages great service by businesses and organisations towards people with a learning disability, acquired brain injury or autistic spectrum condition across a wide range of sectors, from retail and leisure through to public and financial services. It’s a Positive Futures “seal of approval”, so members of the public can see at a glance how inclusive a business or organisation is.
The Burnavon was nominated by Francis Mayes from Positive Futures’ Cookstown Supported Living Service. Francis enjoys attending events hosted by the Burnavon, particularly as the staff who work there consistently ensure his particular support needs are met.
The Award is a public endorsement of the quality of the welcome and service that businesses or organisations offer to disabled people and their carers. Alongside its work within the theatre and on stage, the Burnavon runs an extensive Arts and Cultural programme which aims to provide opportunities for individuals to access innovative high quality arts provision and develop their creative, personal and social skills. The programme focuses on working with diverse communities in the Cookstown District Council area and provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.
Speaking at the presentation, Chloe McFarland of Positive Futures said:
“The Burnavon is a fantastic local arts centre where the people we support are made to feel so welcome. The staff go over and above their call of duty to ensure the centre is accessible to users like Francis. We would like to thank all of the staff at the Burnavon for the great service they provide to people with a learning disability, acquired brain injury and autistic spectrum conditions.”
Tony McCance, Head of Arts and Cultural Services, Cookstown District Council said:
“One of the aims of the Burnavon is to make all aspects of the arts accessible to everyone in the district and beyond, and we’d like to thank Francis for his nomination. This new award is recognition of the Council’s commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities can fully participate in the social and cultural life of the community. The Burnavon has made a commitment to the principles of respect, inclusion and accountability by considering the needs of, and providing a welcoming environment for disabled people and their family or carers. We are continually working hard to provide an excellent service for all our customers, and this is another step on our journey of improvement that we will continue.”
Positive Futures is the leading local charity supporting children and adults with a learning disability, acquired brain injury or autistic spectrum conditions. Their aim is to transform the future of the people it supports.