A London hotel, which has spent more than a penny on providing facilities for assistance dogs, has been honoured for service excellence.
The Park Plaza County Hall is the only hotel in the capital to provide a designated ‘dog loo’ in an otherwise concrete jungle. Assistance Dogs UK have recognised the hotels willingness to expand their facilities to meet the needs of assistance dog users by honouring them with a prestigious Dog Star award.
Wheelchair user Wendy Morrell was so impressed with how the hotel quickly adjusted their services to make stays with her assistance dog Caesar easier and more pleasurable, that she nominated them for the award.
Wendy said, “I am really grateful to the staff at the Park Plaza County Hall for taking my needs and the needs of my dog seriously. The provision of a dog relief area means I can stay at the hotel with my assistance dog and be independent. Day or night, whatever the weather, I know there is somewhere I can take my dog to the toilet safely.”
Wendy Morrell and her assistance dog Caesar and Philip Biggs and his hearing dog Marsh presented the award to the Park Plaza County Hall’s General Manager Philip Chambers. Dogs for the Disabled Chief Executive Peter Gorbing was also present.
Philip Chambers said, “We are delighted to win the award and look forward to consistently improving our offering in the future.”
Guide Dogs, Canine Partners, Dogs for the Disabled, Hearing Dogs and Support Dogs are working together as Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK), promoting rights of access to hotels, restaurants, shops and other services for assistance dog users.
2008 was Year of the Assistance Dog, and saw many assistance dog users nominating retailers, leisure facilities, public premises, and transport operators for similar Dog Star awards, giving service providers an incentive to make their premises assistance dog friendly.
Alan Brooks, Chairman of ADUK, explains: “Although there are many examples of good practice, assistance dog users continue to encounter problems accessing a variety of environments from shops, hotels, pubs, and restaurants, to public transport and high street pedestrian areas.
“This discrimination is both unacceptable and against the law, so by highlighting good practice, we hope it will become the norm, and that in future, our vision of doors always being open to all assistance dog users will become reality.”
For further information, and links to ADUK member charity websites, log on to www.assistancedogs.org.uk