Hackneyites, a neat hotel idea could win you £20k

Riba chairman (??) launches Bespoke Access Awards 2016 at House of Lords 140416 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com

HACKNEY CREATIVES, the borough’s reputation for innovation is at stake. One, or several, of you is here requested to come up with a design to improve hotel facilities for disabled people, to make visits more pleasant. Or should that be “not awful”?

Thirty thousand pounds of prize money has been set aside, including £20,000 for the winner of the main prize, named for Celia Thomas, Baroness Thomas of Winchester.

You don’t have to be a designer, let alone an architect because the contest is open to everybody, so long as they can spare the £35 and VAT registration fee.

CeliaThomas: Celia Thomas (Baroness Thomas of Winchester) is a member of the UK House of Lords who promotes the rights of those with disabilities 140416 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Celia Thomas at the launch of the award

House of Lords members came up with the idea of the awards. The need is certainly great: disabled people say hotel facilities are often “joyless, poorly designed and over-medicalised”.

One of the judges, Paralympic gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson, Baroness Grey-Thompson, of Eaglescliffe, adds: “As I have travelled the world, I have had experience of how poor design standards in some hotels can affect how you feel.

“Let the imagination run free,” she says,and come up with “inclusive” ideas that could help not just disabled people but every guest.

The awards were launched at the House of Lords by the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba and the contest sponsor, Bespoke Hotels, which describes itself as the UK’s largest independent hotelier and whose chairman, Robin Sheppard, spoke at the launch about his disability.

A big company improving facilities for disabled people. A good change.

RobinSheppard: Bespoke Hotels chairman Robin Sheppard launching Bespoke Access Awards 2016 at House of Lords 140416 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Campaigner: Bespoke’s Sheppard

David Altheer 200416

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* Backstory: Spitalfields hotel ideal for wheelchair users

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