Devon Life - - Upfront -

A Devon-based project that helps make her­itage sites more ac­ces­si­ble for peo­ple has won a Na­tional Lot­tery Award.

Her­itage Abil­ity is a project run by a small char­ity called Liv­ing Op­tions Devon. With sup­port from 320 vol­un­teers and fund­ing from the Na­tional Lot­tery, it is help­ing 20 her­itage desti­na­tions in the South West be­come more ac­ces­si­ble over a three year pe­riod.

Now the scheme has won Best Her­itage Project in the 2018 Na­tional Lot­tery Awards. The awards are the an­nual search for the UK’S favourite Lot­tery-funded projects.

TV and film ac­tor Sally Phillips, whose son has Down’s syn­drome, is an ad­vo­cate for dis­abled rights and an­nounced the award and met some of the peo­ple who have ben­e­fited from the project.

She said: “Her­itage desti­na­tions should be in­clu­sive for ev­ery­one but that’s not al­ways the case, so it was won­der­ful to hear to­day about Her­itage Abil­ity’s bril­liant work open­ing up ac­cess to so many of the South West’s most-loved at­trac­tions.”

Maryann Soper, project man­ager for Her­itage Abil­ity, said: “Change can­not be achieved overnight but we hope th­ese places will be­come role mod­els to show what can be done and the value of a com­mu­nity-led ap­proach.”

The project’s achieve­ments in­clude mak­ing Bri­tish Sign Lan­guague videos avail­able at Kents Cav­ern, Killer­ton and Seaton Wet­lands, cre­at­ing large print guides for places in­clud­ing Cock­ing­ton Coun­try Park and de­liv­er­ing an all-ter­rain mo­bil­ity scooter to Lundy.

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