West Ham Disabled Supporters’ Board holds second meeting

Members of the DSB at the meeting

The West Ham United Disabled Supporters’ Board held its second meeting of the 2018/19 season at London Stadium on Wednesday evening. 

The DSB acts as a platform for meaningful engagement and is the key conduit between accessibility supporters and the West Ham United Board, with the aim of working together to consult, discuss and set actions to help us achieve the best experience for our accessibility supporters across all areas. 

Having held its first meeting in July, in advance of the 2018/19 campaign, Wednesday’s meeting centred around providing updates on the actions taken since that previous consultation. It also provided the opportunity to propose a new Terms of Reference and open the floor for questions from DSB members. 

Updated actions include: 

  • Conduct and audit of RADAR keys – A full audit of RADAR Keys was completed. An additional 50 RADAR keys have been purchased for the SLO team, while an extra 60 have been bought for the DSA team. RADAR keys are also available at the Supporter Information points at Blocks 110, 141 and 153.
  • Arrange second website accessibility subgroup meeting – Club representatives met with DSB member David Griffiths at his home to understand and discuss his experience using the Club website as a blind supporter. David and the Club have produced a list of actions and will continue to meet monthly to progress our work together. David will also test any updates to whufc.com and provide feedback.
  • Introduce a new DSB leaflet with updated information for accessibility supporters – a second leaflet has been produced for the DSB and is distributed on matchday in addition to a supplementary leaflet asking for feedback from accessibility supporters on their experiences using public transport to get to London Stadium
  • Produce a DSB fan experience video – A full video involving first team players Mark Noble, Pablo Zabaleta and Pedro Obiang, and members of the DSB was produced at the beginning of the season, with the aim of raising awareness of the DSB and the experiences and issues that accessibility supporters may face on matchday.
  • Nominate a DSB member to the Equality Advisory Group – DSB member Neal Crowley has been working with the West Ham United Foundation and has been asked to join the Club’s Equality Advisory Group for the rest of the season

Trevor Bright and Cathy Bayford, Co-chairs of the Disabled Supporters’ Board, also provided an update on their work with the Premier League Disability Advisory Group, while Steve Lowe also presented his work with Access For All UK.

Wednesday’s meeting also provided the opportunity to welcome two new members to the Disabled Supporters’ Board in Sanjay Chadha and Kevin Wotton. 

The full list of members on the Disabled Supporters’ Board is: 

  • Cathy Bayford (Co-Chair)
  • Trevor Bright (Co-Chair)
  • Robbie Cahill
  • Sanjay Chadha
  • Neal Crowley
  • Bradley Donovan
  • Helena Foreman
  • Jeremy Gibson
  • David Griffith
  • Tracy Higgins
  • Steve Lowe
  • David Puckett
  • Kevin Wotton 
  • Gill Fowler
  • Richard Pullen
  • Joe Seigel 
  • Pauline Tanner

The meeting closed with questions from the DSB to Vice-Chairman, Karren Brady and the senior management team, including the development of the DSB newsletter to help communicate the good work of the DSB, discussing Club policy on special requests and experiences, and an update on the implementation of a sensory room at London Stadium. 

The DSB Co-Chairs Trevor Bright and Cathy Bayford said: “January’s gathering of the Disabled Supporters Board, we believe, has again highlighted what an asset the creation of this group has been in recognising the unique requirements of disabled supporters at West Ham. There is a full cross section of disabilities represented on the Board with everyone continuing to contribute as we work towards a positive full matchday experience for all supporters.

“The fact that the Vice-Chairman continues to attend our meetings and is willing to actively support and address our recommendations, acknowledges that our issues, we are sure, are being addressed and resolved in a timely manner.

“The DSB continues to work with the Club, the Stadium owners and the transport services to resolve matters that affect the matchday experience from getting to the ground to actively enjoying the game. We want the experience to be as stress-free as possible, and the implementation of the shuttle buses, RADAR locks on the toilets, passes for those with non-visible disabilities and disabled supporter specific turnstile lanes have been already instigated by the DSB.

“We want to continue to represent West Ham’s Disabled Supporters - everyone should be enjoying the game regardless of disability. Please continue to make us aware of any problems you may have by emailing us at [email protected].”

Full minutes from the meeting will be published on whufc.com in due course

To find out more about the Disabled Supporters’ Board, visiting our dedicated Disabled Supporters’ Board FAQ section or email [email protected].