Ridley was founded in the late 1800s, and we have both the privilege of our Victorian buildings and their challenges. Making our built heritage, and our learning and living facilities, more accessible in an appropriate and sensitive manner is a central part of our continuing plans of improvement.
This page gives details of our College access plan which covers access issues relating to the physical site of the College itself. For information on accessibility issues in relation to this website, please visit our Accessibility page.
This webpage provides:
- information about the college grounds and facilities that will be helpful for those who live with various kinds of mobility, visual and learning impairments
- details of measures that have been taken over recent years towards making life at Ridley as fully accessible as possible for all who visit, work and study here
- information on further improvements that are currently in the planning stages of implementation
If you are hoping to train at Ridley, or are coming here as a shorter-term visitor, we will be glad to discuss any special needs you have in advance of your arrival.
Location, services and transport
- Location: Ridley Hall is 5 minutes' walk to the city centre over Silver Street bridge. 2 minutes' walk to the Divinity Faculty, and 10 minutes' to the University Library. See our maps for further information.
- Traffic: The college lies between Sidgwick Avenue, Ridley Hall Road and Newnham Walk. Ridley Hall Road and Newnham Walk are quiet, residential streets. Sidgwick Avenue is fairly busy with traffic at peak times, and with fast-moving bicycles during hourly University lecture changeovers. Pavements are uneven, and there are many parked cars.
- Services and shops: There is a 24 hour petrol station and several small restaurants a couple of minutes’ walk away, on Newnham Corner. The Sidgwick Site buttery is also close by. The village of Newnham is about 5 minutes’ walk from Ridley, and has a Post Office, and a number of local shops including two convenience stores. The city centre has a wide range of shops and is 10 minutes’ walk from Ridley.
- Parking: There is an onsite car park with two disabled bays (?). Entry to the car park is off Sidgwick Avenue and the exit is onto Newnham Walk. Please call in advance to reserve a space if you have mobility difficulties. More information on our Parking page.
- Other transport options: For information on local bus and train links, see our Getting Here page.
- General: Access for disabled students – particularly wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties – may be difficult to some areas of the site and buildings due to their age, layout and Listed status. However, a detailed access audit and consultation has recently taken place, and access improvements are ongoing in many areas.
- Smoking: Smoking is not allowed in the buildings or grounds of the college.
- Medical facilities: Ridley does not have a college nurse, but trained First Aiders are available during office hours.
- Emergency procedures: Please advise reception if you would need help evacuating in an emergency.
Accommodation and Catering
- Wheelchair accessible rooms: We currently have two wheelchair accessible rooms, with shared bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities. A permanent ramp is due to be installed as part of wider access building plans, and a temporary ramp is currently available.
- Other rooms: We have several ground floor and ensuite rooms.
- Live-in assistants and assistance dogs: Carers and assistance dogs are welcome for short visits, but please advise us in advance. Live-in carers and assistance dogs would need to be discussed well in advance.
- Early arrival and vacation stays: Early arrival before the term starts and staying over vacation would be possible on prior arrangement.
- Catering arrangements: Three meals daily are served in the Dining Hall Monday to Friday, and shared kitchens on the college’s six ‘staircases’ are available to residents for self-catering at the weekends. More information on meals….
- Special diets: Special diets and allergies can be catered for. If you are visiting Ridley, please advise us in advance of your stay (prospective students may advise us via their application form).
Planned Access Improvements
- Plans are in place for extensive ramping and the installation of wheelchair lifts within the next few years.
- Other smaller access improvements are ongoing.
- College grounds in general: Main entrance through archway, up and down two steps. Intercom due to be installed at main entrance. Temporary ramps can be made available, but please arrange in advance. Grounds all accessible by slabbed paved paths and some gravel.
- College buildings in general: Most buildings at Ridley are accessed by at least two steps, and many without a handrail. Plans are in place to ramp most main areas within the next two or three years, and to install lifts where needed.
- Chapel: There is level access at the rear of the Chapel (please advise us in advance so that we can arrange access by this entrance). Inside, the chapel is spacious, with moveable chairs.
- College offices: Most of the buildings which contain college offices are accessed by two steps up. Ramps are planned, and with advance notice we can arrange for you to meet staff elsewhere.
- Common rooms: The common room is opposite our dining hall, at the top of many stairs with no handrail. Inside the common room is carpeted and fairly spacious, with moveable furniture of various heights.
- Dining Hall: This is accessed by an external and internal flight of stairs, with no handrail. Plans are in place to install wheelchair lifts. The dining room itself is spacious and level inside, with moveable tables, wooden bench seating and a low-level servery.
- Gardens: Our gardens are situated within the grounds of the college. They include fairly even slabbed paved paths, some gravel, and a level croquet lawn. All accessible gardens are accessible, with no steps.
- Laundry: The main laundry in the basement, down stairs. A washing machine is fitted in our disabled accommodation.
- Library: The library is up three flights of stairs, with one handrail. Books can be taken to an accessible location on request.
- Porters' Lodge and post room: Reception up two steps from the main entrance archway, with a window linking the archway directly through to reception. An intercom is installed at the reception entrance.
- Toilets: There is a disabled toilet inside Staircase C. It is currently up four steps, but a temporary ramp is available until a permanent one can be built.
- The Lecture Hall is currently up several steps, with temporary ramps available. The hall itself is level and spacious inside, with moveable furniture.
- Our two seminar rooms are up several steps and through awkward doors. Access would be possible on prior arrangement. There is moveable furniture inside both rooms.
Please explore the tabs below for further information on specific impairment access issues.
- Assistance dogs: Assistance dogs are welcome for short visits, but please advise in advance. Live-in assistance dogs would have to be discussed well in advance.
- Large print, Braille and audio: Large print information is available on request. Many of our external signs have Braille and touch-readable letters.
- Library and magnification equipment: There is not currently any special lighting or magnification equipment, but this could be acquired if needed, and has been in the past.
- Signs and wayfinding: Good, clear, white on brown external signs (with Braille) and red on white directional signs. There is a lLarge, clear, colour map at entrance and paper maps available. A map of the site may also be downloaded from our Maps page.
- Lighting around the site has been recently improved, with lights on all staircases and common areas, and around the grounds.
- External steps and stairs are not usually marked, and many do not have continuous handrails.
- Induction loops: There are induction loops in both the Chapel and the Lecture Hall.
- Intercom: An intercom has been installed at the main Reception.
- Alarms: There are strobe alarms on staircases. Our disabled accommodation is fully alarmed. Vibrating alarms could be acquired if needed.
- Peaceful and quiet around the College site, as it is shielded from roads and traffic noise.
- Most common areas are small and softly furnished, and have good acoustics.
Specific learning and mental health issues
Arrangements for students with specific learning difficulties, including dyslexia, are on an individual basis. Examples of ways we have helped students in the past include providing handouts on specifically coloured paper or digitally, allowing recording of lectures so that they can be listened back to, and liaising with the Education Psychologist for extended examination times where appropriate. Please discuss your particular needs with us in advance of your arrival.