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Northumberland County Show Embracing the Future

From encouraging young people into agricultural careers to improving accessibility at the Show, Tynedale Agricultural Society is embracing change for the future.

In the show office, the latest recruit is eighteen year old Ellie Robson, who has taken on the role of Show Apprentice, and is studying for a Customer Service Apprenticeship through Kirkley Hall Campus, part of Sunderland College. Ellie said, “I am learning lots of new skills in administration and customer service by talking to new people and solving problems. I love designing, using online software, and have enjoyed creating digital marketing materials and printed documents, such as flyers and leaflets, for the Show.”

sUNFLOWER bADGE

Despite the Northumberland County Show being held on a green field site, in the parkland of Bywell Hall, the organisers are keen to welcome all visitors and improve accessibility for those with additional needs. There is a large parking area dedicated for Blue Badge holders. In the days leading up to the show, regular updates on ground conditions will be posted on social media so that those with limited mobility, wheelchair users and carers can have as much information as possible. The Society offers carers and companions for those with disabilities a refund for their admission ticket, available at the Secretary’s Office on Show Day.

The volunteers and stewards have Dementia Awareness training to assist visitors who may have extra needs. Kerry Robson, the Show Secretary, has also introduced additional help and training for the team to help with those with a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower badge or lanyard. The sunflower is a discreet sign that identifies an individual who may face hidden challenges or require more support from those around them. Kerry said, “It’s our aim to create a welcoming environment for all visitors, and every year we strive to create more ways to enable those with extra needs to enjoy the Northumberland County Show. We hope our training and new facilities will help everyone have the very best day out.”

Fully Accessible Toilet

This year, the Show has a fully accessible toilet unit for those with disabilities. The facilities include a height adjustable changing table, toilet with grab rails, motorised hoist and plenty of space for carers to move around. A dedicated attendant will be on hand raise up the tail lift, help with the equipment and keep it clean and hygienic, although they do not help with the care of the user in the unit.

After the success of Braille Signage in the Alpaca Section last year, the initiative has been extended for this May’s show. A British Sign Language interpreter will be providing commentary alongside the Alpaca judging, enabling those with hearing impairments to enjoy the action.

The Show takes place on Saturday 25th May 2024, at Bywell near Stocksfield. Advance tickets are available now, with early bird discounts, on www.northcountyshow.co.uk

Sue Thompson

Sue Thompson

Sue co-ordinates the Show’s annual marketing budget; planning media, liaising with press, and writing articles for both the show’s own literature, digital marketing and for other local publications.