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Social inclusion night a huge success

Sandra Lewry and Liz Gardiner from CV Forward Steps.
Sandra Lewry and Liz Gardiner from CV Forward Steps. Caitlan Charles

GRAFTON Showground was bustling with people for the Social Inclusion Markets and Twilight Cinema.

Organiser Jason Kingsley said the event had been a great success for everyone.

"It's the second time we've run the event, Mr Kingsley said. "We ran it last time as a daytime event and we had about 23 stall holders, but this year we had 50.

"We had more than 1000 people through the gates in the last hour and then after the markets we had a free outdoor cinema."

 

Everyone settles in for an outdoor movie at Grafton Showground for the Social Inclusion markets.
Everyone settles in for an outdoor movie at Grafton Showground for the Social Inclusion markets. Caitlan Charles

The event is all about celebrating Social Inclusion Week and International Day of Persons with Disability.

"It's to embrace social inclusion and to encourage communities to reconnect," Mr Kingsley said.

"It's the act of making all groups of people feel important, whether you have a disability or any background you come from."

As part of the event, CV Forward Steps held awards for inclusive businesses, and this year Sandra Lewry from The Jungle Gym Cafe took out the award.

Liz Garinder from CV Forward Steps said they wanted to acknowledge businesses who were taking the extra step to accept people with disabilities, special needs, medical conditions and who take the time to understand the parents.

"For example, our kids are having a meltdown and Sandra would come over and say 'do you need anything, are you okay'," Ms Gardiner said.

"It's just an acceptance rather than a judgment... so our kids can be included."

Up for the award was IScream, Grafton Scouts and The Jungle Gym Cafe, and Ms Gardiner said having so many places in the community where everyone was included made a huge difference to families .

"I'd love to hope that next year we will have more nominations to make our decision even harder," she said.

 

Liz Gardiner from CV Forward Steps, Robyn Smith from IScream, Sandra Lewry from the Jungle Gym Cafe - who won the inclusion award for local businesses - Sue Day and Heather Eggins from Grafton Scout Group.
Liz Gardiner from CV Forward Steps, Robyn Smith from IScream, Sandra Lewry from the Jungle Gym Cafe - who won the inclusion award for local businesses - Sue Day and Heather Eggins from Grafton Scout Group. Caitlan Charles

Ms Lewry from the Jungle Gym Cafe said they were really honoured to be nominated.

"These guys are a big part of our business and we're all about making relationships with the community," she said.

"We're new to business, it's great for us and it's great for them."



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