Accessibility Championed at Inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards 7th Oct 2019 

The inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards were held at The Langham London with the support of charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. Thirteen winners were awarded on the basis of celebrating thoughtful and stylish inclusive design and business practices across the world. This year’s winners included Shakespeare’s Globe as the most Inclusive Employer and Sea Containers for Best Hotel, sponsored by HEWI. Co-Founder of the awards, Robin Sheppard, called for an accessibility champion at very hospitality venue.

Best Hotel Sea Containers
Best Hotel Sponsored by HEWI, Sea Containers London For Their Use of Glamorous Design in Accessible Rooms

The evening included a comedy set by British stand-up comedian, writer, actor, presenter, and disability-rights campaigner, Laurence Clark. Laurence was born with cerebral palsy and uses his line of work to alter the general public’s perceptions of disabled people. Alongside this, an inclusive fashion show was put on by Samanta Bullock, founder of SB. SB is an online department store that provides comfortable and fashionable universally-designed clothes with the focus on inclusion and benefiting the seated position.

The 2019 judging panel included Fiona Jarvis, CEO of Blue Badge Style; Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners; Alex Taylor, BBC Journalist; Paul Vaughan, Bespoke Access; Neil Heslop, CEO, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Karen Fewell, daughter of Arnold Fewell.

“Nowhere can be 100% accessible but everyone can start somewhere,” said Fiona Jarvis, Founder of Blue Badge Style. “There is tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers. We are delighted to champion these venues with Blue Badge Access Awards and will continue to do so to amplify enthusiasm across the hospitality sector, as well as wider tourist attractions, museums, and public organisations.”

Awards like this are profoundly important because they shine a light on best practice”, added Neil Heslop, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability. “Leonard Cheshire exists to improve life choices for people with disabilities globally, and accessibility is key to this. We work with cross-sector organisations every day in supporting individuals to live, learn and work independently, whatever their disability. We congratulate everyone who has been involved to date and hope many more join in, having been inspired by tonight’s winners.

“We are thrilled to unveil so many exemplary winners at the first Blue Badge Access Awards and celebrate the great work of designers and architects around the world in inclusive design” said Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels and Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People. “It is important to make access a permanent addition to the agenda. No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be as high as a priority as it is now, and we want access to be just lionised in the future.”

The Blue Badge Access Awards are here to accelerate progress, and highlight that the importance of inclusive design should not be underestimated. It gives businesses and venues access to a market of over 1 billion people across the world, a group of over 13 million people in the UK alone with spending power of over £250 billion.

Full list of 2019 winners:





Winner Highly Commended

Leonard Cheshire, Employee of the Year


Jeannine Gubbin, Anfield Catering Liverpool FC Jo Dewhurst Moor Hall Hotel

Leonard Cheshire Award, Inclusive Employer


Shakespeare’s Globe M Restaurants London

Arnold Fewell, Most Inclusive


The Deep, Hull  


Omnipods & Cabins, Accessible Guest Accomodation



Historic England, Inclusive Listed Building



Woodhorn Museum, Ashington


Kimpton, Fitzroy Hotel, London
Above & Beyond



Jo Dewhurst, Moor Hall Hotel


Attitude is Everything

HEWI, Best Accessible Toilet


Mere Restaurant, London


Mobiloo & Kindred, Hammersmith

HEWI, Best Hotel



Sea Containers


The Beaumont

Bespoke Access, Best Boutique Hotel



Kings Head Cirencester


Cottages in the Dales

Euan’s Guide, People’s choice


Cottages in the Dales  

G-Live Guildford


Best Restaurant budget


Hicce, Kings Cross


Kindred, Hammersmith

Conran and Partners, Best Restaurant Upmarket


Three Chimneys, Skye


M Restaurants
Best Bar Budget


Caya Club, Brixton


Coffee #1 Newbury
Blue Badge Style, Best Bar Upmarket


1881 Terrasse de Les Indianes, Per Sagardi, Barcelona Bar Americain, Brasserie Zedel London


The prize that nobody wants to win – ‘Ludicrous Loo’ – demonstrates the challenges faced by those less abled, albeit in a lighthearted manner: revealing bathrooms where accessibility is an afterthought, used as storerooms or with inadequate, thoughtless design. Saunton Beach Restaurant was presented the ‘Ludicrous Loo’ Award with Artist Residence, Pimlico a close runner-up.

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Notes to Editor

The Blue Badge Access Awards bring together the Bespoke Access Awards and the Blue Badge Style with the support and experience of Leonard Cheshire. Created in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the Design Council, the Bespoke Access Awards was devised by Paul Vaughan of Bespoke Hotels, with the intention of finding ways for all hotel guests to have a better experience, and to upgrade the status of the disabled guest from a ‘lack of empathy’ to one of ‘joy’. The Blue Badge Style Awards aimed to recognise and reward exceptional venues & organisations that possess both style and seamless accessibility for disabled people. The two teamed up with Leonard Cheshire, to combine missions and efforts allowing the awards to engage with hospitality proprietors and staff, corporate senior leadership and employees, designers and architects. The awards have been fortunate enough to enjoy support from Her Majesty’s Government, peers in the House of Lords, a wide range of disability groups, the media, hospitality organisations, as well as sponsors and entrants from around the world.The aim is to ensure that able-bodied or not, everyone should feel like a first-class citizen no matter where they are visiting, and no matter what disability, sight or hearing impairment, allergy or access requirement they may have and to inspire all stakeholders to aspire to higher standards.



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