Then for several years, information on the planned development was very difficult to obtain. (We tried!). Then last year it was announced that the Historic Coventry Trust had taken over the project, and Ian Harrabin, its Chairman, wrote to us to tell us about some of his plans. (see our earlier article, here).
Now it has been announced that the Arts Council England has awarded the project £1 million, and The Prince of Wales has also chosen Drapers’ Hall as one of seven projects to celebrate his 70th birthday following a nationwide competition.
The Prince’s Foundation hasn’t yet revealed the ‘significant sum’ it is contributing, but we are told that it will help to transform the building into a regional venue for concerts and events for the whole community to use.
Dr Geoff Willcocks, Coventry University’s Director of Arts, Culture and Heritage and Trustee of the Historic Coventry Trust said: “This is tremendous news, not only for the Historic Coventry Trust, but also for the city of Coventry. This scheme will bring back into use one of the city’s most beautiful ‘hidden gems’ and will provide an important cultural contribution to the life of the city, especially for the city’s children and young people.”We welcome this news, of course. At the same time, people of all ages enjoy listening to and making music, so we hope that the venue, and the use that is made of it, will be suitable for older people too.
Coventry 4 Good is an initiative by Voluntary Action Coventry (VAC), which provides a wide range of services and activities to voluntary and community organisations. COV is a member of VAC.
You can read about VAC on their website here.
The Coventry 4 Good scheme supports voluntary and community groups by making it easier for organizations and individuals to help local good causes through the giving of time and skills, money and resources. All donations received by Coventry 4 Good are distributed to local good causes.
The photo shows COV treasurer Val Cawley (third from the left) at the presentation event, held at VAC’s premises in Warwick Road, on 14th February.You can read about Coventry 4 Good on their website here.
Passengers simply place their cards on the reader at the front of the bus as they enter, and are charged £1.95 each for the first two trips, and further trips on the same day are not charged. No ticket is issued.
The scheme is initially being trialled on Coventry services 11, 11U, and 12X.
The benefits for passengers are convenience (if you prefer to pay this way), and cost – it is cheaper than paying cash.
Many COV members will have an Older Person’s Travel Pass, which entitles them to free travel, unless they are travelling before 09.30 Monday to Friday, when they can pay £1 for a single journey. So they will not need to make use of this method of payment.
But ALL PASSENGERS need to be aware of the following:
You must remove your bus pass from your wallet or purse before touching it on the reader. If you do not separate your cards, only placing the one you want to use on the reader - you may be accidentally charged to a contactless card.
The aim is to help remove barriers to travel for people with conditions such as dementia and autism, allowing them better access to work, shops and amenities.
At the moment Blue Badge parking permits are given only to those people with physical disabilities that are considered severe. Supporters of the Government’s proposals argue that although hidden disabilities are not immediately apparent, they are often the result of long-term illness. Although they aren’t always physical, they can be just as painful, tiring, and debilitating. Blue badges could help people with learning or hidden disabilities to work, socialise, and travel more as it would ease the anxiety of not knowing where to park and give them more confidence.
On the other hand, there are those that say there is limited parking space available, and extending the scheme in this way would mean there were fewer parking spaces available for more “genuine cases”, and for the general public.What do you think? You can read more about the proposals, and take part in the consultation on the Government’s website, here. And as always, you can share your views with COV members, in the COV Forum, here.
From COV member Kate Brown:
Recently I and other members of Coventry Widowed Group attended Coventry University on a research project concerning a driverless shuttle-type bus being developed by Joscha Wasser in conjunction with Horiba Mira Ltd. Our input was concerned with issues on design that might impact on older people’s travel, i.e. comfort, ease of access and capacity. We tested the facilities on a model wooden bus. The final product might in future be used to travel from places like our station to the main city facilities, or places such as the National Trust.
We had a pleasant afternoon with refreshments supplied, filled in a questionnaire, were weighed and sized and found a few issues needing resolution. Hopefully our input will not only help the researcher and developers, but also older people of Coventry and COV members.
Age UK have said a big “Thank You” to the many people (including some of our members) taking part in campaigns organized by Age UK. This year these included: