SHOPS and businesses in Winchester have been presented awards recognising their accessibility for disabled people.

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 it was in categories such as entrance to shop, service and information.

In a letter prior to the investigations, WAAFA chairman Keith Hatter said: “We feel there is much good practice among 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 are 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 ceremony, which saw the Mayor of Winchester Councillor Ernie Jeffs, and Mayoress Barbara Jeffs present the awards.

Clarks secured the top spot, while Moss Bros, Barclays, Boots, Ernest Jones, 3 Store, Halifax, Holland & Barrett, HSBC, Jack Wills, Jigsaw, Lloyds TSB, 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.