Cheers introduces new training course

Awareness: Owner Dennis Forsyth hopes that other licensed premises around the North East will start a similar training programme.
Awareness: Owner Dennis Forsyth hopes that other licensed premises around the North East will start a similar training programme.

Cheers Cafe Bar and Tavern has introduced a pilot training course in disability awareness for its staff- the first of its kind in a licensed premises in Scotland.

Owner Dennis Forsyth contacted Morag Beattie from Best Bar None Dundee, Alan Thomson from Banffshire Partnership and Debbie O’Neill from Real Life Options to discuss how to begin disability awareness training.

The pilot session took place at Cheers on Monday where staff were shown videos and took part in discussions about disability discrimination and how to be aware of many people’s individual needs.

Mr Forsyth said: “The creation of a Disability Awareness Training course for employees working in the licensed trade should be seen as a positive step forward.

“It is amazing that up till now there hasn’t been anything specific created before when you realise the number of people affected. My staff and I are delighted to have played some small part in what could be a big thing for the industry and a great benefit to people with a disability.”

Morag Beattie added: “Dundee has been running a disability and equality awareness award for five years now.

“We work with a local group here called The 5 Digits disability awareness group. There are two members who actually go around licensed premises in their wheelchairs and assess various things, e.g. access, brail menus, staff attitude and assistance etc.

“Dennis is very keen to get the same thing rolling in Fraserburgh which I think it very responsible from the licensed trade point of view as many just don’t seem to care or be bothered.

“Nobody would expect them to spend a fortune on changing their premises but there are often little things that would make a big difference that can be easily applied at very little or no cost.

“That’s what Dennis and I are trying to achieve.Hopefully, we can join forces and get the joint training like Dennis started and spread this through Best Bar None for the whole of Scotland.

“In Dundee we have this as a separate award and not part of the main essentials as we feel it would discriminate against premises who physically can’t change their structure but at the same time, awards those who do take it seriously!”

Dennis and Morag hope that the training at Cheers will be the first of many in licensed premises across Scotland.