Access for All scheme to open up opportunities for residents

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

  • Wandsworth Council to announce £4.85m Access for All fund
  • 30,000 bookings have already been made by eligible residents for free gym and swim at our sports and leisure centres
  • Access for All will aim to remove barriers, increase better access to opportunities and make Wandsworth a fairer Borough for all residents

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Children having fun at Lido in Tooting - which has daily free tickets on offer.

Wandsworth Councillors will be asked to agree the launch of an ambitious Access for All scheme aimed at breaking down barriers and ensuring better access to opportunities for all residents. 
The comprehensive scheme will help tackle disparities in access to sports, leisure, and other essential services, ensuring Wandsworth becomes a fairer borough for everyone.
The Council has already invested significantly in supporting its residents, including:

  • £15 million Cost of Living Programme – the biggest in London
  • Becoming a Living Wage Employer
  • Free gym and swim sessions
  • £1.75 million Borough of Sanctuary funding
  • Free school uniforms and a Schools Breakfast Programme
  • Collaborations for free event tickets
  • 250 free tickets a day at Tooting Bec Lido, following £4m refurbishment

Simon Hogg, Leader of Wandsworth Council welcoming the proposals said: 
“Wandsworth is celebrated for its high quality of life, outstanding schools, vibrant cultural scene, and the lowest council tax in England. Despite these advantages, not all residents benefit from what Wandsworth has to offer.
“Our Access for All scheme will help ensure that every resident can benefit from the opportunities that make Wandsworth such a great place to live, work and play in. We want to create a borough where every resident can thrive, regardless of their circumstances.”

The new scheme will be embedded across a range of Council activities, with a dedicated £4.85 million Access for All fund. This will fund initiatives without increasing council tax, thanks to the Council’s efficient treasury management.

Key Components of the Access for All initiative: 

1.  Britain’s Best Concessionary scheme : Expanding on successful initiatives like free gym and swim sessions, the Council will introduce broader concessions on various services, from birth registrations to pest control, ensuring affordability and accessibility.

2.  Innovative Preventative Services : Developing services that address barriers to employment, training, transport, and childcare. This includes targeted support for vulnerable groups such as those on benefits, refugees, asylum seekers, and care-experienced young people.

3.  Digital Access and Engagement : Leveraging digital tools to ensure residents can easily access the support they need whilst ensuring those who need extra support to access opportunities get it. The new approach will ensure residents are aware of and can access services, and can have a single conversation about their requirements – rather than having to repeat their story or search around for the support they can access

Wandsworth Council is committed to working with local businesses, communities and partners to expand the concessions scheme and deliver a trusted support network.