Firstly, we needed to identify the specific barriers to access. We visited a care home for adults, speaking to residents with learning disabilities and dementia, and their carers, listening to their stories and understanding their needs and fears. They talked about the calming effect of walking in gardens, how it allowed memories to resurface and the lucid moments that followed, and how they loved the country houses and historic landmarks steeped in history.
The main issues they faced were:
- Ability to physically explore all terrains/floors or get wheelchairs into tight spaces
- Perception that the National Trust might not cater to their needs or interests
- The time available for carers to take them
- Getting to locations and the financial cost of travelling with a group