Not welcome at Lands End.

Today my heart broke a little more.

My faith in society is damaged.

I am crushed by a business which sees the known exclusion of disabled people to be a “compromise” that it is okay to make.

Last year my family visited Lands End. We were representing a national charity and the visit was arranged at very short notice so there was none of the usual time to assess facilities ahead.

As it was, the toilet facilities were totally inadequate for our needs and would be inadequate for a lot of disabled people. We had to leave without exploring the site or stopping at the restaurant.

So we asked them to consider installing a hoist and changing bench into a toilet to create a truly accessible toilet.

Their response then was appalling and there was a lot of support for us on their Facebook page but they deleted all comments, instead of responding to them. Fortunately, large numbers of people had taken screen shots of the comments and sent them to me and they were included in my earlier post Lands End is not for everyone.

After some pressure from the public and local news they did speak to me about this and said they would look into it.

Today I took a crushing telephone call. All quotes were quickly notated during the conversation and are from a representative of Lands End.

“We do not believe we should be putting money into a hoist in the near future.”

I asked if they understood that without this people are excluded. They do.

“We have to make compromises. This is a compromise we accept now”.

I asked what would happen when families like mine visit. Lands End accept that those families would have the same experience that we had – they would need to leave their loved one to sit in soiled clothing or simply leave.

I asked if it is better that families like mine should just stay away.

“Unfortunately that is the conclusion.”


They may well feel that this is just a business decision, but it isn’t.

They had a choice to make it possible for people with disabilities to visit and enjoy the facilities. Shouldn’t a visitor attraction be open to all?

They could have told disabled people that they are welcomed and wanted but instead, they have told us that we are neither welcome nor wanted.

 

 

 

35 thoughts on “Not welcome at Lands End.

  1. After reading that I just wanted to scream. Will they be placing a warning g in their website so that disabled people don’t turn up only to be excluded and left with no option but to leave. They can afford to do this but have decided that disabled people don’t matter. How these people sleep at night is beyond me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BRICK WALL springs to mind. This is SO short sighted from the business aspect because with the correct facilities many more families would visit. Keep It In Cornwall for Kids are keen to support

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading this made me so angry, frustrated, disgusted and downright depressed. I’m both physically and mentally disabled, although my physical disability doesn’t put me into the position of needing an adult changing place.

    Because of my ADHD and autism I have spent my entire life feeling like I’m not welcome into general society and honestly this has bought back a tsunami wave of emotions that I hoped never to feel again.

    I absolutely despise feeling like I am inadequate and not allowed to be somewhere because people refuse to make relatively small changes to allow people like me who are part of the disabled community.

    What did we do to deserve being left out and essentially kicked to the curb like this?

    Like

    1. My heart aches for you and with you.

      Nobody should be made to feel that way. The Equality Act is an anticipatory one but it costs money to access the law. It is time the law protected disabled people but it is also time we all started to care more for one another.

      You are a valuable member of society. You have something to offer the world and tonight you have made a difference to me. Thank you for sharing some of your story.x

      Like

  4. So sad for you. It’s just awful that people can be so thoughtless, heartless and cruel. They must count themselves amongst the lucky people who never have to experience being restricted in doing something through disability. Shame on them. If only people would vote with their feet and let them know they think this kind of treatment is unacceptable. The way they responded was just horrendous. If I could hug you I would, though I know it doesn’t take the hurt away! Keep being the strong advocate you are, despite the setbacks and ignorant people! Emma xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe it’s time to provide this info on their Facebook page – I know they took previous comments down, but maybe we will be able to make an impact on at least some people. I do suspect that they will be less than keen to state these vile views on a public forum.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ugh… I’m so surprised businesses aren’t more accommodating these days. If they don’t want to cough up the money themselves they could have at least come up with fund raising ideas, it’s good promo for them after all to been seen helping the local community. They missed a trick there and hurt themselves and you in the process. Not very bright Land’s End. #TribalLove

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi I don’t live anywhere near so wouldnt be attending anyway. However as a wheelchair user myself I require the facilites that they are blatantly refusing to provide, I think this attitude in 2016 is morally repugnant and vile. if they want the income thousands of visitors provides then their attractions should be available to the thousands of visitors with additional need too. However if they refuse to be inclusive then they don’t deserve a penny til they change their discriminatory appalling attitude its that simple everyone should boycott and hit them were it really hurts THEIR PRECIOUS PROFITS

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The Equality Act 2010 requires companies to make reasonable adjustments and bans discrimination on the basis of disability. Have you contacted the Equality and Human Rights Commission?

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        1. As with all these directives they are not laws….and are open to interpretation…you have a disabled loo with a couple of handles and enough room(if your lucky) to drive chair into it and that is all you need to have…..Until the needs for all of us are fully covered….esp access to toilet provision and privacy …is set down as necessary I am afraid less than good will be provided….I suggest you write to the directors of the company involved and tell them that if they comply they will receive a great deal of publicity in forums,social media and in the press…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Legal requirements are outdated. Many places have toilet facilities with a wheelchair logo on the door but wheelchair users cannot actually use them. The Equality Act is an anticipatory one, businesses are supposed to be looking ahead and making changes before people are excluded, but the reality is a different thing.

      We know that hundred of thousands of people in the U.K. completely depend upon a hoist and bench for their toileting needs but there are also more for whom these facilities make the difference between independence and needing carers. Or between massive struggles and a risk of falling instead of safe self transfer and dignity.

      The facilities at this particular location fall short of what many wheelchair users would need in order to be independent users but I was asking them to make an adjustment to their facilities to enable everyone to be able to visit. When I asked Cornwall Services, they were clearly upset to learn that there were people who couldn’t use their toilet facilities and they were keen to make any necessary changes. It cost just over 6K for Cornwall Services and they are very glad they installed the equipment because they have seen the benefits to customers as well as to business. (Yet the benefits to disabled people is what really matters to them – they were willing to do it just for one person.)

      The Equality Act protects the rights of disabled people but they have to have the finances to use the law. Sadly, many don’t have the money to take action and many are struggling with day to day difficulties and just cannot face it.

      Like

  9. Oh this is just so abysmal. I hope you are writing to your MP, they should not be able to get away with attitudes like this. I really feel for you, I am so sorry that you have had this experience. And deleting comments on facebook just because it didn’t suit them – completely cowardly! Radio 4 does a great disability programme, the journalist is Peter White, you ought to send over your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Who would want to employ these “representatives”. It’s almost unbelievable. The attitude of “best that you wheelchair users, your carers and families stay away from our attraction as we can’t be bothered with you” is appalling. Clearly they don’t need the increased income, don’t want to be seen as caring or forward thinking. Happy to be regarded as arrogant and ignorant. I hope that someone will sue them for discrimination, let the whole country know what an unpleasant company they truly are. Wouldn’t visit even if they paid me, on principle.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. completely shocking and I fear they aren’t the only ones – there must be so many places just like this. to delete comments tho and not stand up and say you “know what, we don’t have the right facilities but we are working on it” just gives no one any hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s awful that in this day and age so many companies still have this attitude. Take it up with the local mp and get the story out there, I’m sure this shouldn’t be allowed.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It is such a shame that they don’t have the necessary facilities for you and many other disabled people to use, but I think what is possibly worse is their attitude towards it when the problem is brought to their attention. The responses were heartless and insensitive to say the least.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is so awful and saddening to read. No person should be excluded because of something beyond their control, what an awful viewpoint for these people to have. I hope they have a change of heart and install disabled facilities very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have tried to get Cornwall Council interested in full wheelchair access to Cornish beaches, but nobody wants to look. To see what is possible, Google “wheelchair access exmouth beach” , go to Images, and see just how many people on the beach using wheelchairs don’t have my pony Obama in the photo.
    http://www.ponyaxes.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been looking at several of your videos. The iBex looks great and Obama is gorgeous! This would be a lovely experience and I am sure many in Cornwall would love it. Sadly, with the exception of Bude beach there isn’t a fully accessible toilet with a hoist at our beaches either!

      Very few of our towns have them either, sadly. 2017 needs to be a more accessible year in Cornwall.

      Like

      1. I’ll dig out my photos of wheelchair access across Bude Beach tomorrow. Dead easy, and since the iBex takes any wheelchair, there is no need for a hoist. I do completely accept the toilets issue is a major problem, but Pony Axe S operates without any need for hoists and works for anyone, in any wheelchair. Where are you based?

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        1. We are in Redruth, almost 60 miles away from the nearest beach with an accessible toilet. We have closer beaches but it makes every trip out and every activity pressured timewise.

          Cornwall has a way to go for access but we have a lot of great businesses who are working on it. Do you come down this way sometimes?

          Like

          1. I have been down quite a lot, but trying to get anyone to let me demonstrate all terrain wheelchair access is a nightmare. I have driven Porth Kidney Beach, Widemouth Bay, St Michaels Mount, Bude and a few others but officially I don’t exist.

            Like

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