Improving matchday experience for allIt is said that ‘first impressions count for a lot’, and ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’.
With this in mind, the Exeter City’s Disability Liaison Officer Nick Saunders (pictured far left) teamed up with the club’s Safety Officer Jim Eastment at the beginning of the season to create the position of ‘Disability Steward’ for matchdays.
The role of the Disability Steward would be to help improve the matchday experience for those with disabilities by providing a safe and friendly environment for them at St James’ Park. In time it is hoped that the Disability Steward would help to train other stewards in understanding the needs of both home and away supporters with disabilities. In this way a culture would develop which would express the club’s desire to continue to make St James’ Park a disabled-friendly place by providing a high level of care and support for those with disabilities.
We are very grateful to Gerald Gibson, (pictured second left, with members of the Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association committee), who has become the club’s first Disability Steward. He commenced his duties at the home game against Chesterfield on October 20th, after which the club received some very positive feedback from the Spireites’ wheelchair users. Initially the role of the Disability Steward will be to concentrate on away disabled fans as they are new to the ground – checking tickets, advising them on entry, pointing out facilities, etc – and also home supporters using the designated wheelchair bays. In time this will include all supporters with disabilities entering the ground.
To help the Disability Steward gain recognition for their position the ECDSA have kindly provided two reflective jackets for Gerald and others to wear, so that people can easily identify the designated Disability Stewards.
The club would very much like to thank the ECDSA and Gerald for the support they are giving to disabled supporters whose first impressions on match days are so important to ensure they fully enjoy their matchday experience.
If you think the Exeter City Disabled Supporters Association can improve your matchday experience then please contact them via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to their website by clicking here.
The ECDSA welcomes new members – please contact the Membership Secretary above or at: 38 The Marles, Exmouth, EX8 4NS. Single membership is available for just £5.