The Bear Grylls Adventure was a winner at the Blue Badge Access Awards, an event that seeks to promote exceptional hospitality venues that offer thoughtful, design-led accessibility – recognizing and rewarding hotels and other venues, as well as individuals, who have gone above and beyond in their mission to achieve inclusivity for all.
Opening in October 2018, The Bear Grylls Adventure Birmingham was built with the mission to create a home for adventure activities that are accessible and achievable for all. The attraction has since welcomed guests of all abilities across its eleven experiences, and works to champion inclusivity in its mantra that adventure is for everyone.
The ceremony was hosted at the award-winning Hotel Brooklyn Manchester on Thursday, 28th April 2022, and the event saw The Bear Grylls Adventure win the Institute of Hospitality Award: Above and Beyond! – a category that recognizes those who have addressed accessibility imaginatively and thoughtfully throughout their business.
The glitzy event was compèred by Mik Scarlet, a broadcaster, actor and musician who is one of the most influential disabled people in the UK, while those in attendance also enjoyed live inclusive entertainment supplemented by complimentary drinks and canapés – thanks to support from the event’s sponsors, which included HEWI, IoH, WelcoMe, Bespoke Hotels and ANON Drinks.
Sarah Whittaker, Senior Marketing Manager of The Bear Grylls Adventure, said
“I am so proud that The Bear Grylls Adventure has been recognised for its dedication to ensuring that adventure is for everyone. It’s amazing to have made so many memories with our adventure-seeking guests, and we’re excited to continue offering the awesome adventure experience that we know our visitors love.”
Discussing the wider 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. 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.”
Winners were picked by an esteemed panel of judges including Robin Sheppard (Chairman, Bespoke Hotels Group), Fiona Jarvis (CEO Blue Badge Style Ltd), Tina Norden (Director Conran and Partners), Poppy Szaybo, Senior Inclusion and Diversity Adviser (Historic England), Paul Vaughan (Bespoke Hotels), Jane Duncan (President Past RIBA), Michael Vermeersch (Accessibility Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft), Steve Ingham (CEO Page Group), and Kellie Rixon MBE FIH (Chair Inst. of Hospitality).
In addition, a range of businesses from established industries sponsored this year’s awards, such as HEWI, IoH, WelcoME, Bespoke Hotels and ANON Drinks. The event also garnered support from high-profile names including the Baroness of Winchester Celia Thomas, Lord Borwick and TV personality Sophie Morgan.
The full list of winners included: Purcell Architects, Norfolk County Hall for the Leonard Cheshire Award, Most Inclusive Venue/Organisation, The Bear Grylls Adventure for the Inst. of Hospitality Award, Above & Beyond, Amy Francis-Smith, Chartered RIBA Architect for the Bespoke Hotels Award, Access Champion of The Year, Great Scotland Yard for the HEWI Award, Best Luxury Hotel, Shangri-La The Shard for the HEWI Award, Best Accessible Toilet, The Telegraph Hotel, Coventry for the ‘Liberty’ Award, Best Boutique Hotel, Warwick Castle for the Historic England Best Venue in an Historic Building, 8 at The Londoner for the Blue Badge Style Award, Best Bar, Fischer’s for the Conran Award, Best Restaurant, Caroe Architecture for the Celia Thomas Prize, Conceptual Design for Disabled Guests and Centaur Robotics for Inclusive Guest Innovation.
The Blue Badge Access Awards is a global initiative that brings together two major design competitions - the Bespoke Access Awards and the Blue Badge Style Awards - with the support of charity, Leonard Cheshire. They are united by their mission to celebrate thoughtful and stylish inclusive design across the world.
BBAA are sponsors of this year’s accessibility awards for both the Cateys in July and the AA Awards in September.
For more information about the Blue Badge Access Awards, please visit: https://www.bluebadgeaccessawards.com.