New Internal Automatic Doors

Visitors to Eastlea Community Centre are finding their route into the building is a lot easier thanks to new automatic doors.

We have received funding from the County Durham Community Foundation, NET (National Emergencies Trust) and Seaham Town Council, which has allowed us to install a hands-free mechanism on our internal entrance doors.

This improves access for those with mobility problems, and it also reduces the need to touch surfaces, cutting the risk of infection spreading during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new mechanism complements recent work to make the outer entrance door automatic, creating an effortless way in to the building.

This has been appreciated by users who have been visiting the Centre since activities resumed at the beginning of August, having been suspended in March because of the restrictions brought about by the pandemic.

One regular user who was eager to try the doors was Lynn Mearns, the Centre’s accessibility advisor, who uses a wheelchair because of her cerebral palsy.

She made a special visit to inspect them – the furthest she had been from home since the beginning of the lockdown.

She said: “In my opinion, the Centre has been made more accessible for wheelchair users and people with walking issues.
“If there are any events at the Centre, it will give a wheelchair user independence to come on their own, as a stall holder or something.
“It will also be excellent in an emergency – for example, if the fire alarm goes off.”