The Westminster venue team were celebrating after gaining the ultimate accolade from their peers in the 2013 Catey awards – which recognises true excellence in the hospitality industry.
One Great George Street, a Gold AIM Accredited venue, picked up the Accessibility Award for making the Grade II listed building easy for everyone to use. The 30th anniversary of the awards also marked One Great George Street’s third year on the shortlist – a reflection of the way the team have always strived to focus on accessibility rather than disability and that sometimes the old saying ‘third time lucky’ does ring true!
Anna Glazebrook, the venue’s leading light in marketing collected the award during the ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The glittering event was packed with leaders and high profile chefs from the hospitality industry.
Anna said: “It was such a buzz to win a Catey. It’s the one award everyone wants and which we have not won yet. It is great to get the recognition for working so hard on this aspect of our business. We’re proud of the work we do to make everyone feel welcome to a building that is set up to allow everyone to participate fully in all events that we host.”
The specially designed wheelchair lift – which means everyone can enter the building through the front door – undoubtedly played a part in securing the Catey award. It also helped the venue to be selected to house the London International Media Centre during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
But there are numerous other features that make One Great George Street uniquely accessible, including passenger lifts suitable for wheelchair use with audible floor announcements. There are also permanent and portable hearing loops, strobe fire alarms and many other features that make life as easy as possible for people with accessible requirements.
Gary Payne, director of One Great George Street and chair of the meetings industry association, said: “For us we look at the positive side of accessibility. We see it as an opportunity – it’s about what people can do rather than what they can’t. And we believe this is why we have won the ultimate recognition of our industry peers.
“It’s not just about the physical aspects of the building, it’s about the attitude and service all our staff provide to help people who are less able; to enjoy the venue to the full.”