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Mary Ward House Conference Centre

Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SN, United Kingdom | 02073879681 | Website
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Access could be better

2.5

Visit date:

This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid

Overview

Mary Ward House is a Conference Centre and Exhibition Venue. Please note there is a separate Mary Ward College, which is not part of this review.

Transport & Parking

5

Mary Ward is round the corner from Tavistock Square and several buses stop close by. The nearest tube stations are Euston Square, which only has a lift on the East bound platform, Euston and King's Cross which is step free.

Access

3

The building is Victorian, in a beautiful arts and crafts style. There are 3 - 4 steps at the entrance and then a further couple of steps further along the corridor of the ground floor. All these stairs have no handrail but they are not particularly steep. I found them manageable with my crutch. The upper floors are accessible only by stairs with a hand rail. The room I was in for the day was on the ground floor, it was called the Voysey Room, and was spacious, there was a ramp into the courtyard, which we had exclusive access to. The room had free standing tables and chairs. In the courtyard there was a gravel surface, which was a little tricky with my crutch as it kept sinking in as I walked, and there were free standing tables and chairs. Both the room and the courtyard were very pleasant spaces. I am unable to comment about the other rooms.

Toilets

0.5

This was very problematic. Firstly the accessible toilet is not sign posted. It is in a corridor behind a door marked staff only. One of my own colleague told me off for going into an area marked staff only, see photo. When I went through this door I found that a trolley was blocking the accessible toilet. This happened twice during my stay. When I went into the toilet for the first time there was a stair climber wheelchair, which took up most of the space in the toilet, I was told this was there as it had been used the day before. I explained that the accessible toilet should not be used as a store room. This was removed before my second loo break. The toilet had grab rails and was clean. The emergency cord didn't reach to the ground.

Staff

2

After my first visit to the toilet I spoke with Chrissie, one of the members of staff. I felt she listened to my concerns about the problems I had experienced with the accessible toilet. she took notes and agreed to raise this with the manager. She explained that they try to offer a personalised service based on people's needs. She said that my work place had been in touch and had confirmed a person with mobility disability would be attending that day and staff had been told not to block the entrance to the accessible toilet. She arranged for the stair climber wheelchair to be removed. I also had raised that there was no mention of access on their website and this feels very unwelcoming and so do does having to use the staff only doors. She informed me that if it was sign posted then everyone would use the accessible toilet. I didn't think at the time but if they feel that concerned they could put a RADAR key lock on, as many disabled people have their own RADAR key. Other staff appeared oblivious to the need to keep the entrance of the accessible toilet free.

Anything else you wish to tell us?

This is a venue with a little more thought and staff awareness could be very suitable for some disabled people with mobility impairment. However at the moment, even with advanced notice that they were expecting me I didn't feel very welcome. Toilet provision for all is a very basic requirement. I appreciate that Chrissie was going to follow things up and I hope there are some improvements for the next disabled person that visits.

Photos

Trolley blocking entrance to accessible toilet Accessible toilet with short emergency cord Stair climber wheelchair in accessible toilet Staff door to the accessible toilet

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