A disabled woman from Tadcaster could have the chance to go inside her local coffee shop for the first time ever, after the business has committed to providing some wheelchair access.
The Wetherby News rallied to support Avril Wordsworth when she called to tell us how a lack of disabled access had stopped her from ever crossing the threshold of her favourite coffee shop.
Currently the only customer access to the Costa branch on High Street, Tadcaster, is via a marble stair case.
As a result, Avril, who is wheelchair bound with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has previously been forced to drink her coffee outside in the rain.
She said: “ I’m a coffee person so when I go out I have to have a Costa coffee. I go into Costa all the time in Leeds, York or Wetherby. I was so pleased when they came to Tadcaster.
“There is a lack of things for wheelchair users in Tadcaster. The provisions are quite bad. There are so many places I can’t get into, so Costa is just one of the same I’m afraid.
“You feel let down when you are in a wheelchair and you can’t go in somewhere.”
But now the multinational coffeehouse brand has said it is looking at providing a number of solutions.
The options of a temporary ramp for wheelchair users is being explored as well as is the installation of a buzzer so customers can call for access assistance.
A spokesperson for Costa Coffee said: “Costa takes the needs of all customers very seriously. Costa, Tadcaster, a franchise store, is located within a listed building and therefore no external changes to the building can be made.
“Our stores have a number of features designed to improve accessibility for disabled customers.
“In addition, all of our Team Members receive Disability Awareness Training and will offer further assistance to disabled customers if necessary.”
Now Avril has thanked the ‘News for its support and said she was delighted she will finally be able to sit inside.
She said: “ I’m very pleased because a lot of people I know meet in there and I couldn’t get in there to meet them, so I will be able to get in and have a chat with them.
“I won’t have to go to another cafe on my own any more and I will be able to meet up with my friends.”
The response from Costa was gratefully received by Avril’s husband and her carer who have both been calling for the branch to provide appropriate access since it opened.
Avril’s carer and support worker, Sarah Thackwray said: “She has to have carers do a lot for her but she tries to do a lot for herself, she’s quite independent, she likes to go out and about - she still wants an active life.”