A church in Williams Lake is the latest recipient of the City’s Accessibility Award of Merit.
At the regular council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Walt Cobb and Accessibility Committee chair George Atamanenko presented the award to St. Andrew’s United Church for the installation of an elevator.
“We are very pleased,” Atamanenko said of the church’s efforts. “Here’s an organization and non-profit church that is community-minded and is open to the public.”
The elevator, he added, assists people in wheelchairs and is a wonderful example he hopes others will follow.
Mayor Walt Cobb presented the certificate on behalf of the city and its citizens to Terry Ashley, part of the governance of the United Church.
“We recognized your contribution to increasing accessibility to all residents of Williams Lake,” Cobb said. “Well done.”
Atamanenko also thanked council for being supportive of accessibility in the community.
In 2013 the congregation embarked on a major fundraiser to install the elevator.
“For years, it was evident that such an addition was essential to improve accessibility within the church for elders and for persons with disability issues,” Tribune contributor Barry Sale wrote in an article about the elevator in 2015.
The elevator is a two to three person lift which can carry up to three adults, or a scooter/wheelchair with its passenger and one attendant, Sale explained.
“It will certainly alleviate the current situation where people must either negotiate a steep set of stairs or go around the outside of the building to get from one level to the other.”
Each year the accessibility committee puts out a call for nominations for the Accessibility Award.
Nominees must demonstrate a commitment to increase accessibility above and beyond what is required by law or regulation and improved accessibility for person with one or more disabilities such as mobility, agility, hearing, seeing, speaking, social and mental.