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Essential Access Companion Scheme

*The Equality Act 2010 - 'A person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.'

Why does the scheme exist?

The Essential Access Companion Scheme exists to enable all patrons to equally participate in The Sands Centre's events.The purpose of the scheme is to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the Scheme Member at our live events.

Who is the Essential Access Companion Scheme for?

The scheme is offered to those who require a companion to assist them in accessing the facilities at The Sands Centre. (Hereafter called the Scheme Member.) Most, but not all, Scheme Members have a disability as defined by The Equality Act 2010*.

Who is the Essential Companion Access Scheme not for?

This scheme is not open to, or intended for, those who simply require a companion to assist with transportation to and from the venues, or to keep them company. The scheme is not offered to anyone who can cope independently in a public venue.

What is the role of the Essential Companion?

The Essential Companion's primary role is to assist the Scheme Member with mobility or guidance, to enable them to use and enjoy the services at The Sands Centre. The Essential Companion is expected to attend to the needs of the Scheme Member at all times whilst on the premises.

How should an Essential Companion prepare?

The Essential Companion should familiarise themselves with the layout of the centre and the location of services. They should liaise with Sands' staff if special assistance is required, and take instructions should the need to evacuate the building arise.

What does the Essential Companion Access scheme offer?

The scheme offers members the opportunity to obtain one ticket, free of charge, for the Essential Companion.

How do I join?

The applicant, or their appointed representative, must complete and sign the Essential Companion application form (available here or from the Box Office). Please return completed forms to the Box Office. NB The contact details on the form should be those of the Scheme Member, not of the Essential Companion.

What do I need to disclose?

The application form asks several multiple choice questions along with sections to provide more details. Please provide as much detail as possible and answer honestly. We use this information to determine your eligibility for membership to the scheme, and it helps us better prepare to cater for your needs. All information disclosed will be used solely for the purposes set out in this document.

Important Policy for Wheelchair Users

It is accepted that a wheelchair may be used to assist your access to and around the venue and we accept that it may be preferred for you to transfer to a theatre seat. However if you are transferring to a theatre seat, you will need to be independently capable of leaving the venue in the event of an evacuation, without access to your wheelchair.

If you cannot fulfil this, in line with health & safety, risk assessments and following advice from the Fire Safety Officer, we have to insist that you remain in your wheelchair. For wheelchair positions please reference the seating plan in our current What's On, or on our website thesandscentre.co.uk

If you require assistance in completing the application form or would like more information, please contact the Box Office on 01228 633766

Please download the application form here (Individuals)

Please download the application form here (Groups)

ECAS Terms & Conditions  


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