SHOPS in Winchester have been presented awards for their disabled accessibility.

Winchester Area Access for All (WAAFA) is a forum for highlighting issues involving access to businesses.

It gave out 29 gold, silver and bronze certificates and badges to recognise those that give great service.

Each shop was ‘tested’ by a mystery shopper, and then graded according to how accessible they are in categories such as entrance to shop, service and information.

In a letter prior to the investigations, chairman of WAAFA, Keith Hatter, said: “We feel that there is much good practice amongst Winchester’s businesses. This deserves recognition so that not only customers, and potential customers, are aware of it, but also so that those who practise it know that it is appreciated and be encouraged to continue and even, if possible, improve it.

“To do this, we would like to award a certificate or symbol of excellence, which, if the business wishes, can be displayed.”

There was only one gold winner at the recently held ceremony, which saw the Mayor of Winchester Cllr Ernie Jeffs, and Mayoress Barbara Jeffs attend to present the awards.

Clarks secured the top spot with a gold certificate, with 3Store, Barclays, Boots, Ernest Jones, Halifax, Holland & Barrett, HSBC, Jack Wills, Jigsaw, Lloyds TSB, Moss Bros, Phase Eight, Santander, Shoon, Superdrug and Whittard all won silver.

The bronze winners were Bellis, Caracoli, Debenhams, HMV, Hotter, LK Bennett, Montezuma, Nationwide, Starbucks, Thornton’s and Vodafone.