The Lounge Room

Musicians Making A Difference (MMAD) working toward making The Lounge Room in Gosford more accessible with support from Ability Links.

Hey, so my name is Will, and I work for MMAD, Musicians making a difference. And my role here is setting up this space called the Lounge Room, which is a place in Gosford where we want to create a space of community and belonging and a real sense of inclusiveness. 

Everything we do here has the added benefit of helping us to raise money for the youth programs we run with disadvantaged young people locally and around Australia. 

Our space here, the Lounge Room and MMAD HQ in Gosford are both in the same building and our real vision for this is to be an inclusive place where people from all backgrounds are welcomed. 

But our building doesn't have disabled access at present and is a bit of an old building with a few funny sort of features. So we were starting to think about this maybe a year ago, but it got really brought further to my attention when a couple of things happened. 

We had some people coming to some of our events who  needed wheelchair access. We have someone who comes here regularly in a wheelchair. She's OKwith people helping her into the building but that was one thing that made me think - yeah we really need to try and make this space accessible. 

And the other thing was, I met someone named Marni who works at Ability Links and she's popped in a bit and has an interest in the space and has referred people to some of our programs. And we met up and had a few conversations and she really helped me to kind of see the bigger picture of making a space that is physically inclusive and accessible and that it is more than just ticking boxes  but considering other things of how we can really truly make this a space where people aren't just able to access it, but they feel welcome and they feel considered a part of it. 

So we want to make this space feel like home or feel like a lounge room for everyone. So, yeah, talking to Marni really helped i guess just consolidate some of the thought around stepping forward and putting some plans in place and we applied for some grants and recently were successful in getting some funding. 

And what really helped us in receiving that grant was a letter of support from Marni from Ability Links basically just outlining some of the conversations we had and what we want to continue to do in sort of community consultation just involving all sorts of people in the process. So, we are really excited, really appreciate the support that letter and excited to continue to work with you guys and create another space in Gosford where everyone's welcome.