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Four-legged visitors have been helping Hinkley Point station guides strengthen a new partnership with local disability group Sedgemoor Disability Forum.

Image of a dog Waffle

Assistance dog Gino the Labrador and miniature poodle Waffle the hearing dog joined their owners on tours of Hinkley Point B power station near Bridgwater.

They were accompanied by their owners for fact-finding missions to see how accessible the power station could be for visitors with restricted mobility and other disabilities.

EDF Energy works closely with National Star College in Gloucester which provides further education for people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties. We welcomed students to the station to give us valuable feedback on how we could improve accessibility,” said station guide Sue Butler.

“As a result of their comments we contacted the Sedgemoor Disability Forum to see how we could help local disabled people make the most of our station tours and several people took up our invitation.”

While Gino was the first assistance dog on site with his owner, EDF Energy office assistant Becky Andrews, Waffle followed in his paw-prints with owner Joan Pinder who met Sue at the Sedgemoor Disability Forum.Together with her partner Colin Lane she toured the station and was full of praise for the efforts of staff.

“It was fascinating to find out how everything works and everyone was so kind and understanding,” said Joan, who has been deaf since the age of three.

Fellow forum member Jean toured the turbine hall and the control room simulator with the help of Hinkley Point B’s foundation degree student Damon Booth.

Since it opened in December 2012, the Hinkley Point Visitor Centre in Angel Place Shopping Centre in Bridgwater has welcomed more than 40,000 visitors, while 8,000 people have toured Hinkley Point B to see how a nuclear power station works.

Visitor centre staff also regularly support local and national charities, including hosting awareness events for the British Heart Foundation, St John’s Ambulance, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and the National Autistic Society.

The centre is open six days a week, Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm and on Saturdays between 9.30am and 1pm.

An EDF Energy customer services representative is also in the visitor centre every Wednesday between 10am and 3pm answering customer queries.

More information about the visitor centre, or to book a tour of Hinkley Point B power station, is available by emailing hinkleybtours@edf-energy.com or telephoning 01278 429225/01278 428988.

The Sedgemoor Disability Forum is facilitated by Compass Disability Services and gives disabled people and their carers living and working in the Sedgemoor district a chance to come together to be consulted and informed on a range of issues from different organisations.

It meets twice a year at different venues in the Sedgemoor area, with the next meeting due to be held on Tuesday, May 24, at The Canalside, Huntworth, near Bridgwater.

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EDF Energy EDF Energy is one of the largest energy companies in the UK, supplying around 5 million residential and business accounts with electricity or gas. We produce around one-fifth (20%) of the nation’s electricity and that makes us...

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