Wellcome Collection Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE, United Kingdom | 02076112222 | Website
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280

Ambassador

Updated review August 2021

3.5

Visit date:

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

Overview

I'm a regular visitor to Wellcome. My last review was July 2021. This is an update from today's visit. Please see my earlier reviews for photos and more details.

Transport & Parking

5

The Wellcome Collection is centrally located on Euston Road and almost opposite Euston Station. Also nearby are Euston Square and Warren Street Tube Stations. The nearest step free tube station is King's Cross. There are a number of buses that stop very close by. I travelled on public transport to get there and it was only a 2 minute walk from getting off the bus.

Access

5

To me Wellcome is the gold medal winner of accessible venues. Please see my previous reviews for details. During this visit we went to the Tranquillity exhibition and the café.

Toilets

5

Changing Rooms toilet is clean, spacious, emergency cords with Euan's Guide cards.

Staff

5

Front of house and café staff were very welcoming, friendly and helpful. I spoke with Lewis about the Tranquillity exhibition. He listed to what I said. I also asked to speak to the manager, as I wanted to feedback formally what I would be saying in my review. Richard, the manager quickly came to see me. Both listened to my concerns. The issue of covid safety is under consent review at Wellcome and they will consider what additional measures could be put in place.

Anything else you wish to tell us?

This is a very hard review for me to write. I visit Wellcome very regularly and to me they are the most accessible venue I know, both in terms of accessibility and staff attitude. I love visiting as it's a fascinating place. Based on today's visit this remains so. However, there is a but, and it is a very personal but as someone who is clinically vulnerable, as didn't feel covid confident in the Tranquillity exhibition, so I have marked the overall score down, as great accessibility on its own is not enough I also need to feel safe. Generally I felt covid safe while in Wellcome. In the reception and café area there is plenty of space to social distance. However, I didn't feel covid safe when I visited the Tranquillity exhibition. Initially it was fine when I went in. It was a bit busier than when I visited a few weeks ago but the exhibition is quite spaciously laid out. I was sitting in the first section watching the video. However, as I sat there I became aware that there were a number of people coming in without wearing face masks. I accept that some people are except, but when you see groups of 3-5 people coming in together and no one is wearing a mask, on the law of averages they can't all be exempt, so for some people it's personal choice. I then started not to enjoy visiting the exhibition as I was more busy looking to see where the people with no masks on where so I could avoid them, and I couldn't relax and enjoy the exhibition. I explained to my friend how I was feeling and said that I was going to retrace my steps and leave. On exiting I met Lewis and spoke to him about how I was feeling. I asked to speak to the manager and Richard came down very quickly to see me. I explained I was a Euan's Guide Ambassador and that I wanted to feedback how I was feeling, as I would be writing a review. Richard spent about 10-15 minutes listening to my concerns and my suggestions. I felt it was a very useful and constructive discussion. Here are some of the things raised (I've written them in my own words, so I hope I have captured the main points of the discussion, but I'd invite Wellcome if they want to respond to my comments): Wellcome are a medical organisation and they are taking guidance from their own highly regarded medical experts in terms of covid precautions, and this is continually under review. They have continued, and it appears are likely to continue for the next few months, with pre-bookable slots to limit visitor numbers. The galleries, café and communal areas lay outs are spacious to help manage social distancing. Social distancing is still encouraged. Staff are still wearing face masks unless exempt. Visitors are encouraged to still wear face masks unless exempt. Staff are not policing visitors who don't wear masks. However, if visitors choose there are Euan's Guide exemption badges and face masks available. Both are free and available at the entrance. There are a large number of face masks being handed out each week. Hand sanitiser is still located around the building. Wellcome have noticed in the last couple of weeks, although the majority of people still are, there has been an increase in the number of visitors not wearing a mask. The messaging on their website and booking confirmation encourages mask wearing. I've asked if maybe they could look at re-wording this, to help people have a better appreciation of the needs of clinically vulnerable people and how non mask wearing can impact on us. I've suggested looking at certain slots for mask wears or clinically vulnerable people only. And if this is the case to offer a variety of slots, weekend as well as week day. Preferably later in the day, as many disabled people take time to get ready in the mornings. Also to recognise if this is offered and the take up is low, it could be due to clinically vulnerable people's reluctance to take public transport at present. Richard said that Wellcome have thought about how best to manage visitor numbers specifically in the galleries and would keep reviewing this. I suggested they host events around the issue of covid safety. For example debate/ discussion around mask wearing. We talked more generally about may clinically vulnerable are still shielding and feeling isolated, unsafe and forgotten by society. I raised that many disabled people feel that disabled rights have regressed since covid. Overall, I felt my covid precaution concerns were heard and would be fed into Wellcome Collection's ongoing discussions about covid precautions. They have a good track record regarding accessibility and I feel confident they will be able to find a positive way forward to help enable clinically vulnerable people. Big thank you to Lewis and Richard for taking the time to talk with me today.

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