Pioneering Blackpool project inspires yet more events to be fully-inclusive with celeb chefs and West End performer now to be British Sign Language Translated at major new event

A pioneering accessibility project hoping to make waves for disabled people attending events has inspired a brand-new event to become fully-inclusive.

The Food, Art and Music festival, which kicks off in Blackpool for its inaugural year this weekend, featuring world renowned chef Aldo Zilli and Jean-Christophe Novelli – will see all of the chefs’ live cookery demonstrations British Sign Language translated, as well as the finale on Sunday featuring West End star Ben Forster.

The inclusion of BSL in yet another Fylde Coast event is thanks to Access Fylde Coast project and follows on from Lytham Festival, the Paraorchestra at the Winter Gardens and a Comedy event, which featured Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Robert White and local Lancashire funny man Steve Royle.

Blackpool-based Access Fylde Coast, which is funded by the Coastal Communities Fund and spearheaded by Blackpool’s Disability First, aims to breakdown the barriers of disability and make it easier for people with physical, sensory and learning difficulties to easily access events.

“We want to put the Fylde Coast on the map for being fully-inclusive and it’s great that event organisers are now seeing the huge benefit of having British Sign Language translators (BSL) at their events,” says Gill Moss, project officer for the Access Fylde Coast project.

“The response from providing BSL at Lytham festival, which featured top artists including Kylie Minogue, providing specially adapted bikes for disabled people and their families to ride Blackpool Illuminations, to offering a fully-inclusive event with the Paraorchestra has been incredibly positive – we’ve been contacted by people moved to tears about what a difference it has made to them to feel fully-included.

“It’s a positive step in the right direction and it’s a very important legacy of our project.”

Ian Hooper, organiser of the first-ever FAM festival, says: “Through the Access Fylde Coast project, we found out about the importance of making our event as fully-inclusive as possible.

“So, we are delighted to have been sponsored by Access Fylde Coast to provide BSL translators for the inaugural year of FAM, so that presentations from world-renowned chefs to West End star performances are accessible to everyone.”

For more information on the Food, Art and Music Festival visit www.famfestival.co.uk

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