Who are we?
Paul Nichol, Chairperson
Paul is semi-retired, balancing his time between being a full-time carer and as many other activities as he can cram into a day, especially running and Open University.
Paul has previously had careers in Financial Services, Local / Central Government and Electrical Engineering Technology.
Paul has been on the Access Panel for 4 years and is passionate about making Tweeddale a more accessible place with his main focus being on premises, housing and roads.
Frank Drummond, Secretary
Since taking early retirement from a career in local government, Frank has volunteered in various capacities, helping out (pre- Covid) at the John Buchan Centre and at the Osprey Watches in Glentress Wild Watch Centre and Kailzie Gardens, as well as doing some voluntary work with older people.
When not volunteering, he enjoys playing with Strumash (the Peebles Ukulele Orchestra), attending lip-reading classes and learning Finnish.
He joined Tweeddale Access Panel in 2009. He became Secretary in 2017, and it was around this time he developed a fairly significant hearing loss.
Elaine Thomson, Ordinary Member
I have lived in peebles most of my life came back to live here in 1998
Parshally sighted for 3 years, I run a visually imparement group in peebles. This is for anyone with visual problems in peeblesshire and surrounding areas. I am also a connect lead with RNIB scotland and in 2021, chairman of peebles flower club. I have been a member of tweeddale access panel for 2 years
Robin Tatler, Member
Councillor Robin Tatler represents the Tweeddale East Ward on Scottish Borders Council and is an Ex-Officio member of Tweeddale Access Panel. Before being elected Robin had a 20 year career as a professional fundraiser for a variety of local, national and international charities. A community activist, he is a former chair of Peebles Community Council and was active in the formation of Peebles Community Trust. Robin is an active volunteer for The Food Foundation, based at the Victoria Park Centre in Peebles.
What benefits do Access Panels bring?
Access Panels can help their communities in lots of ways including:
- Creating a better physical environment for all;
- Assisting local authorities, public bodies and designers meet their statutory obligations;
- Promoting full social inclusion;
- Empowering all members of the community;
- Keeping access issued to the fore.
Whilst much of our activities are about access to places, such as shops, public buildings, restaurants and leisure facilities, we are also interested in improving access to healthcare, employment, education and transport.
How do Access Panels Work
Panels provide a valuable service in their communities by, for example:
- Liaising with local authorities, health services, social housing providers and other public bodies on all sorts of access matters;
- Undertaking site visits;
- Researching and publishing local access guides for disabled people.
How can you help?
Get involved! Joining the Panel is easy and a great way to help improve accessibility. You can learn new skills, help with promotional campaigns and surveys, give support at events, and help with research and publicity. You can be sure that whatever time and commitment you are able to give will help make a difference in our community, and will be much appreciated.
Volunteers can be individuals with disabilities, people representing disability organisations, or others who simply have an interest in disability or have relevant experience which they can bring to the group.
If you are interested in joining Tweeddale Access Panel, or would just like to know more about us and what is involved contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paul Nichol, Chair
- Currently Vacant, Vice Chair
- Frank Drummond, Secretary
- Michael Davis, Treasurer
- Yvonne Armstrong
- Elaine Thompson
- Spencer Cobley
- Mark Tilley
- Isabel Headon
- Mary Sharratt
- Councillor Robin Tatler