Over the past two years, supporting our community became just as important as our regular business support. Face coverings were the norm, but to our deaf community, this made our town centre unwelcoming.  We learned that using face-coverings was isolating for anyone who had to rely on lip-reading and worked with our local deaf charity, CSSEF initially.

It became clear how difficult it is for a deaf person to have an enjoyable experience in a town centre due to lack of efficient communication in general. This was something we could quickly address to ensure Camberley adapted and remained an inclusive place.  We provided clear face-coverings to 300+ businesses and ran a campaign behind this to educate staff. This type of initiative wasn’t happening else-where to the best of the charity’s knowledge.

We took inclusion further by adding subtitles onto every social media video and on our Children’s’ films at our outdoor cinema events. We invited a ‘Signing Elf’ to interpret our Christmas Light Switch-On, which was something we had not seen elsewhere and was a magical moment for the public. When restrictions allowed, we rolled out free British Sign Language training (80 trained) to our businesses. This lead on to further safety and inclusivity initiatives…  

  •  We completed Dementia Friends training (30 trained) and First Aid training (115 trained).  
  • We provided our night-time economy with Drink Spiking Awareness kits, including drink toppers and free test strips.  
  • We installed two 24/7 defibrillators in high footfall areas.  
  • We identified locations of all AEDs within the town, producing a clear map for the public and business community.  
  • Our Renewal Ballot was an overwhelming success in June 2021, with 93% / 96% YES votes. Initiatives during this time, fed into our 2021-26 Business Plan, shaping a new objective and continuing our ‘legacy work’ for Camberley.