Disabled Facilities at HQ

The other week I received a phone call for the QM (Quartermaster) at Cambs ACF (Army Cadet Force) to let me know that a meeting was going to take place. The Estates Manager from East Anglia RFCA (Reserve Forces and Cadet Association) and their Architect were meeting with the QM at the Cadet Training Centre, to discuss the plans for the Disabled Facilities they are looking to introduce. I was invited along to the meeting to look at what was being proposed and for my input as an amputee.

Last Thursday afternoon I went to the Cadet Training Centre (which is the Cambs ACF Headquarters) to meet the team and see the Architects drawings. Needless to say the Architect obviously knows a lot more than I do about building compliance and what can be done to make it more accessible for disabled people. The biggest issue to all the work is obviously the budget but I think RFCA have slightly more now than they originally did. They are not tackling the 1st floor and with no lift means that someone in a wheelchair cannot access the conference room or offices but that is not a major issue. They are going to fit various automatic doors to gain entry to different parts of the building, Disabled toilet in the main foyer, a room with sleeping accommodation and wet room, easy open corridor doors and a raised decking area at the back of the Mess room. I have to say I was well impressed with what I saw and it will make life so much better there, not just for me but any disabled person visiting or staying at the centre. They are keen to get the work completed and want it finished by Christmas. I think the Open Day in June was another eye opener at the lack of disabled facilities on site but I am impressed with way RFCA and Cambs ACF are dealing with the issue. I feel very privileged to have been invited to give my input into the project and have been updated every step of the way. Although this will benefit all disabled people it still highlights how an amputation affects more than just the amputee. It shows how the process can be as much of a learning process for other people and organisations too. They get a major thumbs up from me and it’s made me feel valued as an Adult Instructor within the ACF

On a slightly different note I have been much hotter and sweating since the amputation. I thought it was just from the surgery but my GP was concerned that with the lymph node still present in the groin that it may be an infection. I had a blood test last week and yesterday went back to get the results. As I predicted the blood results were fine and it’s just the result of it being harder to regulate your body temperature as an amputee. As I have always been a very cold person it probably seems a bigger change than it may have been for some other people, just something else new to get used too. No infection = good news but my GP did tell me to mention the Lymph Node to the Plastic Surgeon when I see them. All in all it was a good couple of days and things are still progressing, even if it is quite slowly.

 

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