Colchester United

Colchester United

Stadium Information

Stadium

Weston Homes Community Stadium

Address

 Weston Homes Community Stadium
United Way
Colchester
CO4 5UP

Club / stadium contact for disabled supporters

Name

Chris Saward

Telephone no.

01206 755130

Website address

Disabled Supporters Association

Contact Name

There is no DSA at present.

Telephone no.

E-mail address

Website address

 

 

Accessibility Information

For UK minimum access standards for new and existing stadia and for good practice guidance please click here.

 

Getting There & Parking

 

There are 41 accessible car parking spaces available for all supporters (both home and away) located right outside the Stadium. These regularly sell out so disabled fans are advised to book these in advance on the low call rate ticket hotline 0845 437 9089 where possible.

Should these sell out, which they invariably do, our parking stewards will always do their best on the day to accommodate fans with accessibility needs at the front of our main car park which is now fully tarmaced and in close proximity to the stadium. All car parking spaces cost £6.We also allow fans to drop off/pick up outside the stadium if necessary.

 

National Rail have published links to the nearest stations to sporting venues including Colchester United see here for more information.

 

Level Playing Field have not verified the information given and we suggest that you contact the station direct if you have any access requirements.

Getting a Ticket

 

Information on purchasing a ticket please visit the Colchester United website.

 

The ticket Office staff can assist with the purchase of tickets for disabled fans and PA on or before a matchday please contact 0845 437 9089 or visit the ticket office. Buying tickets in advance is advisable and cheaper as we operate advance and matchday pricing.

 

 

Spectator Viewing areas

 

The Weston Homes Community Stadium boasts elevated wheelchair gantries in all four stands, each with designated seats for an accompanying Personal Assistant (PA), lift access, accessible toilets, a designated steward for assistance and all offer plenty of room for manoeuvrability.

 

Due to the gantry's raised positioning, fans are both 'high and dry' with an excellent view of the game at all times. Standing fans below, will not impede your view.

 

There are 102 wheelchair and PA spaces around the stadium and away fans have their own elevated wheelchair gantry housed in the away end with the away fans.

 

Access to the West Stand wheelchair gantries is through the main reception where the lift to the first level can be found. Lifts in the other 3 stands are located underneath the concourses.


It is advisable to contact the club in advance to obtain tickets if you are a wheelchair user, to avoid disappointment of them being fully booked by matchday. This can be done on the low call rate ticket hotline 0845 437 9089.

 

NB: Under existing minimum standards for accessible stadia, the club should have 100 wheelchair spaces and they exceed that figure. 75% of these should be elevated positions and the remaining 25% pitchside.

 

LPF's view is that many disabled supporters should be able to access general seating areas and only those with specific needs eg those who require extra legroom, or access via aisle seats or who need step free access etc should be allocated seats in the dedicated areas.

 

Based on the above, the club therefore exceeds the current minimum guidance. They should continue to monitor this and carry out regular reviews under the auspices of a full independent Access Audit.

Accessible amenities

 

All five wheelchair gantries have designated toilets with specific facilities for disabled fans. General toilets are located under the concourses in all the stands.


Catering facilities, which all have low level counters, are located on the ground floor under the concourse in all four stands. Although it must be noted that these facilities do get extremely busy at half time. For disabled supporters without a personal assistant, there will usually be a designated steward who may be available to assist.

Accessible services & information

 

Live match commentary is avaailable through one of the Hospital Radio Colchester headsets, supporters are advised to contact the Disabled Liaison Officer Chris Saward on 01206 755130 at the club in advance.

 

Please note, fans wishing to use this service will have to sit in the West Stand (home area) in front of the press box for audio reception and further assistance from Hospital Radio Colchester. Away fans are also welcome to use this service.

 

We regret that we have no facilities for assistance dogs at present although we do permit them into the ground. We do suggest however, that fans wishing to bring an assistance dog book their ticket in advance so we can be as accommodating as possible.

 

Deaf or hard of hearing supporters can purchase tickets for all parts of the Stadium. All six Ticket Office windows have hearing loops fitted.

 

Ambulant disabled fans can purchase tickets for all parts of the Stadium so long as they can get to and from their seat without difficulty. Where there is a need to sit in a specific seat i.e. on the end of a row or where there are few or no steps, then please contact the Ticket Office directly to organise appropriate seating.

 

Updated October 2013.

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Comments

J&J

Match: 26/11/13

Published: 12/1/2014

 

This was our 5th visit as away fans in successive seasons to the Weston Homes Stadium.   I have already written a very full review (April ’13).   To avoid repetition I will restrict this one to just any additional bits to that earlier review. 

 

Purchasing Match Tickets

Away wheelchair fans need to purchase their tickets from Colchester FC.    The earlier you buy them prior to the match the cheaper they are.   They retain your details on their system once you have purchased tickets from them so you don’t have to give them all each time.   To find the ticket collection point, as you enter the ground go to the far end of the stadium building, turn right and it is on the left.    

 

Facilities in the Ground for Away Wheelchair Fans

Viewing Areas

I got good 3G coverage in the East Stand.   Large scoreboard and video screen is just to the right of you if you are sat in the wheelchair area of the East stand. 

Refreshments

I noticed that the refreshment van I had seen on previous visits was still open.     It is on the right just as you exit the last roundabout before the ground, a relatively short, flat walk out of the stadium’s car park.   I think it was also open as we left (a Tuesday night game) but can’t now be sure!   We arrived before the ground was open but I noted that, as with previous visits, the refreshment area/bar (and loos) in the South Stand were open for both home and away fans (on your right as you enter the car park).   From the concession within the East Stand I had a cheeseburger (only burgers available) and my husband had a steak pie.   They were hot and average prices.   I thought my burger was not the best but equally by no means the worst, whilst my husband was very pleased with his pie.  

Accessible Toilets

The one on the East Stand wheelchair area is right hand transfer.   Don’t know about the others.  

Headset Commentaries for Visually Impaired Fans

Colchester FC have just invested in new wireless headsets.  We emailed the Club before hand to request use of one, then on the day collected and returned it to the main Reception desk  which is half way along the outside of the West side of the stadium.    My husband reports that these were exceptionally comfortable to wear.   You do need to turn them on using the small button on the side (a red light comes on).    The commentary provided by volunteers from Colchester Hospital Radio, he also said, was of a very high standard and very helpful in enabling him to follow the game.  

 

Will We go Again?

Without doubt.   As others have said, amongst the best grounds to visit as a wheelchair user.   All credit to Colchester FC.

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Sheffield United Disabled Supporters Club (SUDS)

Match: Colchester v SUFC (FA Cup)

Published: 19/11/2013

 

By far the best ground in this division. Although Shrewsbury's is very good too.  Very helpful stewards, exceptionally clean toilet within the disabled viewing area also one as you access the lift. Exceptionally good view from the disabled area as it is elevated and under cover from the rain, however it gets cold on a windy day as you are high up. Looking forward to going again this season in the League.

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Darren Cash

Match: Colchester vs Wolves 05/10/2013

Published: 7/10/2013

 

Fully endorse the previous comments.

 

The ground is very easy to find being on the outskirts of the town.

 

The set up is very similar to Shresbury Town and the grounds do have a similarity.

 

I prebooked a parking space for £6 but if the main car park is full they do have an overflow carpark.

 

As I found at Shrewsbury, there are no food outlets on the main car park at Colchester so eat before you get there or take your chances inside the ground.

 

The viewing platforms are at the back of the stand and has the benefit of being well above the seating area, therefore even if someone stands up in the seats they cannot block your view (unless they are at least 12 feet tall).

 

Toilets are on the viewing platform itself.

 

All in all, well done Colchester .

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Just J

Match: 16/04/13

Published: 23/4/2013

 

My first visit as an away wheelchair fan to Colchester’s new Weston Homes Stadium was in September 2008, just after it opened and I have visited each season since.   I would fully endorse the favourably comments made by previous reviewers and not repeat here what is already well documented.  

 

If travelling by road, the stadium is very easily accessed from the A12 (Jct 28), which is effectively a dedicated junction for the stadium.   There is a large flat car park on two sides of the stadium.   I have never had to arrange parking as I have always used my club’s official away travel but my understanding is that as away disabled fans you can ring and pre-book a parking space.   Apart from one burger van as you approach the car park, the stadium is literally in the middle of nowhere with no near-by facilities as far as I am aware.   I have been told there are plans for a hotel and shops at the site but these are currently shelved due to finances.

 

Each of the 4 stands has viewing platforms for wheelchair users, either in the middle of them or at the back of them.    This ensures you are under cover, have an excellent view and are seated amongst your own fans.    On my first visit the away fans were in the South stand but after the first season I understand they moved the away fans to the North stand (nearest the A14), albeit if the away crowd is small, the away fans are seated at the north end of the East stand.  If this happens the nearest route to the away wheelchair fans entrance is to turn down the right hand side of the stadium nearest the stadium's entrance and the wheelchair fans entrance is ¾ down that side. (The ticket office is on the opposite side of the stadium).   If the South stand is closed, away and home fans are mixed in the wheelchair area of the East stand.   This resulted in me last season being sat next to a Colchester fan who was verbally abusive about my team (although not personally abusive to me).   When I was telling the steward on this visit about this, they informed me that if this does happen to inform them immediately and they will deal with it.   There is a steward on the wheelchair platform for the whole time.

 

On my most recent visit 5 away wheelchair fans and their companions filled up the wheelchair platform in the East stand from the far (south) end (furthest away from the lift) so that we were well positioned at the side and back of the away fans.   When Colchester’s wheelchair fans began to arrive the only spaces left for them were the other side of the toilet furthest away from their fans.  We all said if we were those Colchester fans (some of whom the steward told me were season ticket holders for the East Stand) we would feel somewhat marginalised stuck out beyond all the away fans.  The lifts for the wheelchair stands, only take one chair and companion so you may need to be patient at the end.   We did ask the steward if we could take priority over the home fans in using the lift to get out as we had a fair trip ahead of us, which we were grateful to the Colchester fans for agreeing to.   If you are in the East stand, as we were unable to see the pitch prior to the game due to the setting sun directly in our eyes (April evening), you might want to consider the need for a baseball cap if the sun is likely to be around when you are. 

 

5 stars to Colchester for the accessible loo.   Easily accessible throughout and sparkling clean.   Hot water, hand wash, bins, space etc all provided.  5 stars also for the helpful, friendly stewards that we have always encountered at Colchester on each of our visits.   I noticed there was an Evac Chair on the wall in the accessible loo and the steward told me they had all been trained in its use.

 

I cannot finish this review without mention of the volunteers from Colchester Hospital Radio and in particular Ronnie.   When we first visited in 2008 we asked if they did a headset commentary for visually impaired away fans.   We were told that Colchester Hospital Radio volunteers did do one but to pick up the signal you needed to sit in a particular part of the West stand with the Colchester fans.   Once we explained that my visually impaired husband needed to assist me in the away wheelchair area, rather than saying sorry as other clubs have, Ronnie set about coming up with a way to provide the commentary for my husband.   He explained as it had never been tried he wasn’t sure it would work but to his and my husband’s great pleasure, it did and he has happily made it work for each of our visits, becoming someone who we look forward to catching up with on each visit, albeit my husband was not available for this visit.  5 stars plus for Ronnie and his fellow volunteers.  

 

We are just hoping Colchester don’t get relegated as it is one of the best stadiums we visit and would miss our annual trip to them.

 

Perhaps worth noting Alex Hales who is given as the Club’s contact for disabled fans has now left and Matt Hudson is now the contact.   

 

 

 

 

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Gary Deards

Match: Colchester v Sheff Wed 14/04/2012

Published: 10/4/2012

 

View from the South Stand wheelchair viewing plaform

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Gary Deards

Match: Colchester v Sheff Wed 14/04/2012

Published: 10/4/2012

 

I visited the stadium for the first time and the facilities/staff were excellent.

 

Accessible car parking is available but I arrived via the Shuttle Bus service from the train station which was excellent both before and after the game (if you let the club know you are travelling this way, the buses can pick you up at the station rather than in the official area over the road).

 

Level access to stands with lifts to wheelchair viewing platforms. The viewing platforms are elevated for all wheelchair users accessed via a lift and offer excellent views (there was a potential sightline issue if supporters in front of the platforms stood up but my area was OK).

 

Accessible toilet on platform and at bottom of lift.

 

Refreshment areas are on the concourse level so you will need PA or steward assistance if you want drinks etc on the platform.

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Lyn Robinson

Match: Colchester vs Sheffield Wednesday 16/08/2010

Published: 16/8/2010

 

Friendly and helpful stewards. Lift to large area with spaces for wheelchairs and seats for carers alongside. A disabled toilet is situated in the same area.

 

The view is perfect, due to the fact the area is about 3-4 ft above the standing fans. It is also undercover so no problem if it rains.

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