Woodcraft Folk aims to be open and accessible to all; its vision is to increase
and widen participation in its groups, camps and activity centres.
Children and young people should not be excluded from Woodcraft Folk activities based on their ability or support needs, neither should they be excluded based on the ability/availability of their parent or carer to support group activities. Group leaders will work with the child, their parents/carers and other professionals who understand their needs to create a support plan who enable they have a positive experience at group and camp. When creating a support plan thought will be given to the level of support and whether or not one to one support is required – if so the group will seek to recruit a dedicated volunteer or access specialist funding where available.
The Equality Act
The Equality Act (2010) says changes or adjustments should be made to ensure individuals with a disability can access:
- Goods and services (e.g. shops, banks, cinemas, hospitals, council offices, leisure centres)
- Associations and private clubs (e.g. Scouts, Guides and Woodcraft Folk, golf clubs and social clubs)
An individual should never be asked to pay for the adjustments.
What Is Reasonable Adjustment?
Adjustments only have to be made if it is reasonable to do so. What reasonable is not defined in law, but will depend on things like:
- The individual’s disability
- How practicable the changes are
- If the change would overcome the disadvantage disabled people experience
- The size of the organisation
- How much money and resources are available
- The cost of making the changes
- If any changes have already been made
Reasonable adjustments could include:
Changing the way things are done
If practice, whether formally or informally, makes it harder for a disable person to access, adjustments could include:
- More time spent explaining activities and expectations
- A volunteer available to help guide the individual
- Adapting games and activities to include all participants e.g. less running around, using larger objects
- Providing optional/additional activities for those wanting to take time out of the group e.g. craft, reading corner
- Differentiating activities for group members
- Encouraging work in small groups or clans, supporting all members to co-operate and contribute
- Celebrating everyone’s achievements and contributions
Changing a physical feature
Most Woodcraft Folk groups hire venues, and should consider access when choosing a venue. If reasonable adjustment is required, group leaders may need to ask the premises owners to make adjustments to the fabric of the building. This could include:
- Installing accessible toilets
- Providing ramps or stairlifts
- Widening doorways or installing automatic doors
- Providing additional lighting and signage
Providing extra aids or services
Offering additional equipment, or a higher level of support, can enable a disabled adult or child to access a group or activity more effectively. This could include:
- A portable induction loop for people with hearing aids
- Accommodation in a smaller dormitory/tent
- Provision of a camp bed
- Creation of social stories
- BSL interpreters
- Adapted equipment e.g. climbing harness
- Providing information in alternative formats, such as Braille or audio-described video
- Extra staff or volunteer assistance
- Don’t make assumptions – individuals will have different needs and different coping strategies
- Before a disabled young person starts in a group, leaders should meet with them and their parent/carer to discuss how Woodcraft Folk can best reduce any barriers to them participating and meet their needs to ensure a positive experience for all; it is important to give space for the young person to be heard, which may include having a meeting without their parent
- Group leaders should seek training and expert input, including (with permission) from the child’s medical professional, school or other adults who support the individual to engage in group activities
- Agree a start date and times to review the arrangements, the frequency of which will depend on the needs of the individual
- Where beneficial, recruit a volunteer to provide one-to-one support
- Group leaders, with the young member and their parent/carer, should agree an induction plan – this may include attending a taster session or being accompanied by a trusted adult until relationships are formed
- Review and adjust programme activities to support engagement of all group members
Further Support & Information
Resources to support inclusive practice in Woodcraft Folk groups can be found in the Inclusion section of the Resource Library (a woodcraft.org.uk account is required to access this folder).
Support and advice regarding specific disabilities and conditions is available from organisations including:
You may also find our Managing Behaviour Guidance helpful to support your approach.
A webinar exploring Reasonable Adjustment in group activities is available to watch back via Woodcraft Folk’s YouTube channel.