BBPA releases latest guide to ensure pubs are easily accessible for all

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The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has published updated guidance for pubs to help licensees make their venue as welcoming as possible to those with access needs.

The guide features a foreword from legendary British Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE, and is also endorsed by Paralympic tennis hero, Jordanne Whiley.

The new guidance was launched this morning by BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds, who was joined by Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE, and Lord Shinkwin and was hosted at The Sanctuary, a Fuller’s pub in Westminster, by Richard Fuller.

“Pubs are for everyone – why being accessible is important” is a follow-up to 2012’s “An open welcome – why being accessible is good for your pub”, and highlights various steps venues can take to ensure they are as accessible as possible, from access ramps at the door, to hearing loops on the bar and large print menus.

The guide also underlines the importance of staff training, so that pubs can meet the needs of disabled customers, and staff can safely operate any access-related equipment, alongside a suite of new case studies from Fuller’s and Enterprise Inns.

The BBPA has once again worked with VisitEngland, Tourism For All, and Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE, who welcomes the guide as a “positive step in promoting access for all.”

The BBPA has also partnered with Changing Faces, a charity that helps people who have a disfigurement find a way to live the life they want, and have developed a case study helping staff engage with customers who have a distinctive appearance.

Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE commented, “Having just witnessed yet another successful Paralympics, there is no better time to champion accessibility, and no better place to do so then in the home of hospitality – the Great British pub.

“Accessibility is not simply about physical access to the pub, but rather it is about creating the best experience for all who visit and encouraging visitors to return.

“This guidance is a positive step in promoting access for all. Let’s embrace the legacy of the Paralympics and ensure that equality and accessibility remain key themes for the future.”

Jordanne Whiley added, ‘It’s so important for pubs to be fully accessible for disabled people. Pubs are social places to meet, drink and eat with friends and colleagues so you can imagine the frustration when someone who is disabled has trouble getting in. I see pubs as a big part of British culture so nobody, whether it be a local or a tourist, should be denied access.’

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, BBPA, commented, “I want to thank Tanni and partners from VisitEngland, Tourism for All, and Changing Faces, who have helped to produce this new guide and to BBPA members who have provided case studies.

“Pubs are rightly famous for their warm welcome and excellent service. People with health conditions, and their companions, spend around £12 billion annually on tourism in England, and this guide should help licensees understand how best to help customers and ensure venues are as welcoming as possible.”

Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE added, “The new BBPA guidance provides lots of useful information for licensees to help those with access needs enjoy the Great British pub, and it’s a welcome step in ensuring venues are accessible for everyone.”

Lord Shinkwin commented, “The pub is a place to socialise, eat and drink with friends, and as the population ages, an increasing number of them are going to have access needs. So getting access right now makes sense. This guidance shows the way forward, because a great pub is an accessible pub.”

(pictured L to R: Richard Fuller, Corporate Affairs Director, Fuller Smith & Turner plc., Lord Holmes of Richmond, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, BBPA, and Lord Shinkwin)

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