January 2020 Disability Fan Forum
Date: Saturday 18 January 2020
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: Vodafone Lounge
Wasps Attendees: Chief Executive Stephen Vaughan, General Manager – Delaware North Mark O’Shea, Senior Community Development Officer – Jordan Young, Head of Communications Tom Vale, Community and Matchday Marketing Manager Verity Brown, Insights Marketing Manager Paul Cartwright, Wasps first-team players Brad Shields and Callum Sirker.
Verity Brown introduced the team in attendance and the reasons for starting this Fan Forum, along with Jordan Young, who leads the majority of the disability work and projects that Wasps undertake.
JY went into detail about the following areas:
- The Wasps Sensory Room and its success and activities.
- The introduction of hearing loops at Ricoh Arena.
- Events and activities Wasps have recently run including rugby tours and the setting up of a rugby team for those with learning difficulties.
JY also ran through ongoing and future projects including:
- Lanyard Scheme being worked on for both Ricoh Arena and local rugby clubs to help identify specific kinds of needs and address training needs for staff to cater differently for each.
- Potential for changing room facilities at Ricoh Arena.
- An entrance on the atrium side would be helpful for the Fan Village due to difficulties entering through external entrances.
- Radar Key carried by all stewards would be helpful. Wasps work towards ensuring all stewards have one.
- Customers ignore disabled parking spaces and badges in Car Park A and park too close to these cars with stewards either too busy or ignoring the situation. This will be fed back to parking and Wasps encourage supporters to report any instances that are affecting them.
- Scanning tickets can be very stressful to those with additional needs and currently is not always handled well by stewards. This feedback will be passed on to stewards and is something that the Lanyard Scheme will help with.
- An example of good practice at other stadiums was referenced in which fans with needs are either provided a food and drink delivery service to the disabled area, or allowed to queue jump. This delivery service is currently being trialled at other stadiums using the same catering organisation as Wasps and the queue jump method could potentially be built into the Lanyard Scheme.
- A lack of food and drink options for those with food needs and allergies was raised as The Mill is currently the only area with a consistent offering on this side.
- The potential for a lift from The Clubhouse due to its location far from the stadium bowl was queried. MOS outlined that there are significant difficulties with this and that there are no changes currently planned in for this issue.
- There is a wish from some fans to have a bridging provision below hospitality to provide an area to sit without the additional cost of food and drink. Conversations about such an area to sit alongside The Clubhouse are ongoing for the new season.
- Sandwich bar and lunchbox provision is missed. MOS stated that Wasps are looking into the potential of bringing this back.
- There was a general appreciation from all fans in attendance at the work Wasps, Ricoh Arena and in particular JY and the team do for those with needs.
The email address firstname.lastname@example.org has been set up to respond to any concerns fans may have.
The meeting closed at approximately 1pm.