Lake Macquarie City Council and Ability Links to bring a safe retreat tent to major event

CHILL OUT: Event tent.
CHILL OUT: Event tent.

VISITORS to major events in Lake Macquarie who have sensory sensitivity will be able to have a safe space to retreat to, thanks to a new partnership between Council and Ability Links NSW.

Council’s community planning acting manager, Andrew Bryant, said the Ability Links Event Tent aimed to raise awareness and help break down barriers around inclusion and disability.

“Major events in Lake Macquarie are fun and exciting occasions for the whole family, but for those with sensory sensitivity concerns, they can sometimes be overwhelming,” Mr Bryant said.

“We’re happy to have partnered with Ability Links NSW to bring their Event Tent to four major events in Lake Macquarie – Living Smart Festival, Carols by Candlelight, the Lake Mac Festival and the Lake Macquarie Festival of Surfing – to help make these special occasions accessible and enjoyable for even more of our residents and visitors.

“The Event Tent will launch at Living Smart Festival at Speers Point Park on Saturday, September 23, and at the end of the initial 12-month pilot program, we plan to host the Event Tent at future events across the city.”

Inside the Event Tent, visitors will have access to a range of equipment including wheelchairs and sensory devices, as well as relevant information from council and Ability Links NSW.

Children will also be able to enjoy their own smaller sensory tents, complete with toys.

The initiative is part of Lake Macquarie City Council’s recently adopted Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2017-2021, which aims to make Lake Macquarie a more inclusive and accessible city for people of all abilities.