Inclusion Zone

" The individual is rarely going to be altered,
whereas the environment slowly but surely can "
- Tom Shakespeare

Why is Inclusion Zone needed?

One in three people in Northern Ireland are at risk of social isolation. Perhaps you are elderly, have a disability or medical condition, care for a loved one or live rurally. You may live below the poverty line or your family may experience a mixture of many of these things. A lack of friendship and ‘taking part’ has consequences for our well being and increases the risk of poor mental health. We need to create environments that are suited to our complex needs as individuals within society. Inclusion Zone introduces this new way of thinking and planning.

When is it happening?

Inclusion Zone is a ‘vision’ which we intend to build in stages – an inclusive ‘Participation Centre of Excellence’.  For more details on our first phase – see Equi-Zone.

What can I expect?

Inclusion Zone will be a hub of opportunities to enjoy leisure time, both indoors and out. Additional resources, such as pre-bookable personal care provision, will mean you can enjoy leisure time independently on a day and time of your choice. With activities and quiet spaces, all abilities can ‘take part’ together. It’s only through being together that we learn mutual respect and value one another.

Key considerations

  • Daily opening
  • Pre-bookable one-to-one personal care support
  • Indoor and outdoor space, suitable for multiple powered chairs
  • Facilities, e.g. parking, toilets, etc., for large groups of disabled people
  • Activities suited to differing abilities and ages
  • Partnership with other service providers
  • Mobility equipment hire options


Proposed facilities and resources

Eco-friendly building and grounds, low energy and in harmony with nature

  • Arts & crafts
  • All-ability gymnasium
  • Conference room
  • Further education suite
  • Healthy eating zone
  • Hydrotherapy pool
  • Internet bar with adaptive technology
  • Soft play area and sensory room
  • Sensory garden
  • Sports pitches
  • Sand and water area
  • Polytunnel
  • Nature trail
  • Party room for hire
  • Horse Zone (Phase 1)
  • Adventure playground
  • Adapted holiday cabins
  • Complementary therapies
  • Gardening
  • Befriending schemes
  • Classes and courses
  • School holiday schemes
  • Assistive technology clubs
  • Special interest talks and exhibitions
  • Events ; Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Summer
  • Evening youth/adult initiatives
  • Multi-ability sports
  • Mobility aids & adaptive equipment hire

Longer Term Goals

Inclusion Zone has the potential to offer a new holistic framework, suited to addressing the issues captured in the Northern Ireland Physical and Sensory Disability Strategy. Key factors affecting overall quality of life include:

  • Transitions
  • Impact of ongoing multiple health appointments in unsuitable locations
  • Access to therapeutic intervention
  • Emergency powered wheelchair replacement/complex prescriptions
  • Access to transport


To create a stress-free  Centre of Inclusive Excellence, which promotes independence and availability of resources for all abilities together, some solutions might include: Collaboration with Health Trusts to base routine clinics and Allied Health Professionals at N-cluzion Zone, for those with long-term conditions. A modernised approach to Further Education, plugging the gap between Supported and Inclusive Learning. Partnership with Community Transport Networks to build independent travel options.  

Best practice and knowledge gained at Inclusion Zone could then be used to support local communities develop or improve local inclusive projects.

Here is a snapshot of what you’ve told us already: