A global initiative that champions stylish inclusivity in hotels, organisations and hospitality venues has announced the winners of its leading accessibility awards at an exclusive ceremony in Manchester.
The Blue Badge Access Awards, which promotes exceptional venues comprising thoughtful, design-led accessibility, rewarded those that have gone above and beyond in their mission to achieve inclusivity for all, at the award-winning Hotel Brooklyn Manchester last night (Thursday 28th).
Winners of the 11 acclaimed awards, which received sponsors from established businesses such as HEWI, IoH, WelcoMe, Bespoke Hotels and ANON Drinks, included Purcell Architects, Norfolk County Hall, who received the Leonard Cheshire Award for Most Inclusive Venue/Organisation, The Bear Grylls Adventure, who scooped the Institute of Hospitality Above & Beyond Award and The Telegraph Hotel, Coventry, who achieved the ‘Liberty’ Award for the Best Boutique Hotel.
Furthermore, winners of the Celia Thomas Prize, Conceptual Design for Disabled Guests, Caroe Architecture and Inclusive Guest Innovation, Centaur Robotics, took home a share of a generous prize fund of £20,000.
The glitzy event was compèred by Mik Scarlet, a broadcaster, actor and musician who is widely considered one of the most influential disabled people in the UK, and garnered support from high-profile names including the Baroness of Winchester Celia Thomas, Lord Borwick and TV personality Sophie Morgan.
Live inclusive entertainment was enjoyed by all, with guests also being encouraged to delve into the plethora of free drinks and delicious canapes that were served up throughout the evening.
Discussing the event, Fiona Jarvis, chair of judges and founder of Blue Badge Style, said: “The Blue Badge Access Awards give recognition to businesses and establishments that have addressed accessibility imaginatively and thoughtfully, which is what every hotel and hospitality venue should be striving to achieve.
“We couldn’t believe the high standard of applications we received this year and are delighted to see that the hospitality sector is beginning to welcome stylish accessibility with open arms.”
Robin Sheppard, co-founder of the Blue Badge Access Awards and president of Bespoke Hotels, added: “Fiona and I have made it our mission to advocate for inclusivity in the hospitality sector. It is crucial to make the hotel experience more joyful and inclusive for both disabled and non-disabled guests, designing and creating a place of beauty and practicality for everyone to enjoy.”
He concluded: “Although we recognise the hospitality sector still has a long way to go, we were delighted to gather together for an evening and pay homage to like-minded individuals who have produced or constructed an offering that strives to promote equality for all.”