'It's sad that we see less disabled people visiting Golders Hill Park'
- Credit: Judy Gillespie
A family has called for improvements to disabled facilities at Golders Hill Park.
The City of London Corporation said it is looking to make improvements after Jeffrey Gillespie, 33, who is disabled, got in contact to highlight issues including “minuscule” and confusing signage.
Jeffrey and his mother Judy, have lived in Golders Green for many years and frequently visit the park, where they say they help other disabled visitors with directions and advice when they see them struggling.
The toilet itself is located “along a long, winding path” which Jeffrey says does not consider the difficulty of movement many disabled people experience.
When you eventually arrive at the toilet, it is locked and you are instructed to return to the cafe to get a Radar key.
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Another issue is the state of the toilet itself, which he said is “ancient and dirty with a heavy door”. For many visitors, this creates a very uncomfortable and unpleasant experience.
“I’ve been raising these issues for years,” Judy told the Ham&High. “It’s definitely beaten me down...even when we get people interested it never translates into action."
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She added: "It’s very sad because there are not many places disabled people feel welcome. Parks are one of them because they’re outside, there are no narrow doorways to negotiate. So it’s very sad that we are seeing less and less disabled people visiting the park.”
Judy would like to see better signage, and said she would put the keys closer to the facilities. She said these spaces should be accessible for everyone to enjoy.
A City of London spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear of Mr Gillespie’s concerns. A member of the Golders Hill Park Team met with Mr Gillespie over the summer and we are currently working to address the issues that have been raised.”