AbleStay: Bringing accessibility to London

by Charles & Jo van Berckel in Worcester Park, England, United Kingdom

£25,742

 
Gift Aid
+ est. £4905.50
£55,000 target 8 days left
46% 331 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 31st October 2021 at 1:59pm

Imagine being unable to visit London just because you have a disability.

by Charles & Jo van Berckel in Worcester Park, England, United Kingdom

AbleStay: London’s first fully accessible holiday home.


Enabling people with complex physical disabilities to enjoy London as everyone else.

 

Imagine being unable to visit London just because you have a disability.  This is the sad reality for many.  We are going to change this, and we need your help.

 

The Problem


London claims to be one of the most ‘accessible’ cities in Europe.  But where do disabled people stay in our capital city?  And what does ‘accessible’ truly mean?

Most people think ‘accessible accommodation’ is a wider door and some grab rails, presuming that ‘one size fits all’.  There are over 165,000 hotel rooms in London for able-bodied guests.  Disabled people with complex physical needs currently have ZERO.  Is it fair that they should the miss out?  Here lies the problem.

 

FACT:  The reality is there are approximately 250,000 + people in the UK with complex physical disability and nowhere for them (or their families, so over 1 million people) to stay in London.  Not a single hotel room nor self-catering option.  Let that sink in for a moment.


 These individuals simply cannot safely stay without:


  • Level wheelchair access
  • Profiling bed
  • Ceiling hoist for transfer
  • Fully accessible bathroom
  • Adjoining room for their caregiver

 


Who are the 250,000+


Anyone and everyone with a more complex physical disability:

 

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • ALS
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple Scleroris
  • Spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Stroke and paralysis
  • The many other conditions where complex physical disability affect life

 

Additionally:

There are 800,000 regular wheelchair users in the UK.


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Also remember this: The 250,000+ excludes the older generation who have become wheelchair users in their twilight years.  1 in 3 over the age of 80 will be a wheelchair user at some point.

 

The problem must be changed.  AbleStay are going to change this.  And we need YOUR help.

 

 

Our Project

 

AbleStay will be London’s first fully accessible holiday home.

 

We are a registered charity set up to address the inequality inherent to London’s accommodation scene, delivering a critical change to enforce accessibility in its true meaning.

 

This change is essential to pave the way to a more accessible, inclusive London and the wider world itself, impacting the lives of many who deserve so much better.

 

Our ambition is to deliver luxury, self catering, accessible accommodation for people with complex physical disabilities, enabling them to finally explore our capital city with comfort and ease.

 

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How can you help us achieve our goals?

 

AbleStay has purchased a single storey home in South West London.  We now need your help to accelerate this vision and open the doors to London for the disabled community.

 

During this crowdfunding process, we are hoping to raise £55,000 to complete the first phase; this will provide the funds needed to finish adaptations to make the house fully accessible.

 

If successful, we aim to push on for a further £15,000 for an accessible kitchen.




What are we spending the money on?


Internal remodelling

Removing walls to create an open plan living space.  This will provide space for wheelchair users to easily circulate and allow the family/group to be inclusive.

 

Building an accessible bathroom extension and fitting it out

This is our son’s fully accessible bathroom at home, showing plenty of space for his wheelchair and carers, ceiling hoist for transfers, height adjustable bath, changing table and accessible basin and a wash/dry toilet.  

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 This is the exceptional standard we wish to replicate at AbleStay.

 

We will be providing other essentials like a medical fridge, plenty of plug sockets for monitors/suction machines, IV stand for feeds, kitchen blender for those who are tube fed.  From experience, these small items really will take stress away.

 

This money will allow us to not only create the basic foundations of a fully accessible holiday home but will also allow us to create a beautiful and welcoming home that delivers the wow factor for those staying. This is something that is too often missing in accessible design.

 

Everyone has a right to visit our capital city.  Please help us to bring that closer.

 

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What will AbleStay offer?

 

The opportunity to visit and experience London, whilst staying somewhere that will meet the needs of guests aged 0-100, disabled or not.

The house will aim to accommodate as many disabilities as possible.


  • Stunning contemporary bungalow in a quiet residential road in Worcester Park
  • 3 bedrooms (2 accessible)
  • Accessible bathroom
  • House bathroom
  • Large open plan living area
  • Large accessible kitchen
  • Sun terrace
  • 5 minutes from Worcester Park accessible train station
  • 25 minutes train to London Waterloo
  • Off street parking for x2 WAV’s (wheelchair accessible vehicle)

 

We like to think we have thought of everything and will be continuously taking on people’s suggestions, ideas and feedback to make AbleStay the best it can be.

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If the demand for accessible accommodation is so great, why hasn’t it been done before?

 

A lack of understanding.  Unless you have a disability or understand disability from a lived experience (as we have with our son), it is off your radar.

 

It is too difficult for hotels to address.  A wide door and grab rails tick their accessibility box, so why provide more?  AbleStay wants to make a key difference in raising awareness of the needs for disabled people, inspiring hotels and companies to change their blinkered approach.

 

It is too expensive for self-catering holiday home owners to contemplate (and they are unlikely to have the knowledge).

 

This situation has to be addressed and we feel it is our duty to take on this role.  We have the experience, knowledge, understanding and most importantly, the absolute passion to make a change.

 

 

The Future of AbleStay

 

We would love to grow the charity, providing AbleStay properties in city location across the UK, giving disabled travellers the same freedom as everyone else.

 

Our goal is to continue fundraising to be able to subsidise a short break for families that may not be able to afford the cost of a visit to London.

 

This is a big step in creating fully accessible accommodation, and a small step in creating a more inclusive world.

  


The Need for AbleStay



We are so grateful to have already received so many requests to book and all of your comments are inspiring us every day to make this dream a reality.

"My daughter has Lennox Gasteau Syndrome.  This is like winning the lottery, this is something to really look forward to".

"What a dream you have put into motion.  Thank you for caring about these things".

"I have two boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, this is such a brilliant adventure.  We can't wait to book".

"This truly feels like the start of something wonderful".

"We live in Ireland and I've dreamt of taking my son to see the sights in London, I never though it would be possible, until now.  Thank you".

"Oh my! I want to book now so I can take my wife to see her son in London.  We've been unable to visit as she needs a ceiling hoist".

"Think you'll need several properties to accommodate us all".


 



Our Inspiration


This is our beautiful son Kit, who made a stormy entrance into the world 13 years ago and has taught us everything we know.  Kit has quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and inspires us everyday.  


Kit is a full time wheelchair user and has no independent sitting, standing, walking , requires hoisting for all transfers and talks using a computer (think Stephen Hawking).  Kit requires a carer to help with all aspects of day to day life.

We are so fortunate to be able to make Kit’s life as fulfilled as possible and now we want to change the lives of others.

If you have made it this far, THANK YOU for taking time to read our story.  Your kindness and generosity is very much appreciated.


THE END!



* P R I Z E  D R A W *

In return for your generosity in supporting us, we are offering a number of prizes. For every donation of £20 you will receive one free entry ticket to the Prize Draw.  To be entered into the free prize draw please email your contact details to [email protected]

You have a good chance of winning one of the following ...


FOOLISH WOOD - Harrogate, North Yorkshire 

1 week holiday (worth £3,000) / 4 weekend stays (worth £1,000)

We are offering a holiday/weekend at 'Foolish Wood' built in 2015 for our son Kit to accommodate his disability however, first and foremost it is a family home.  

A stunning single storey, contemporary home (sleeps 8) with plenty of space, accessible bedroom and bathroom and an indoor hydrotherapy pool (with hoist).  

Set in 3 acres of countryside, 10 minutes from Harrogate and close to the Yorkshire Dales.  Peaceful, tranquil and accessible for all.

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GUNWHARF KEYS, PORTSMOUTH 1 week stay (£1,500)

Our friends and AbleStay supporters, Libby and Barry are kindly donating their contemporary apartment in Gunwharf Keys Marina, Portsmouth. 

A luxury two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment situated in the heart of Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth.


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LITTLE WEAVER ARTS - Nature, Pure & Simple (worth £20)

Our Trustee, Alex Vere, has supported AbleStay from the very first day.  Alex has kindly donated 20 stunning mounted prints 'signed by the artist', Andy Webb.

https://www.littleweaverarts.com


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MOTO GP FAMILY TICKETS, SILVERSTONE (worth £400)

x4 family (+ 1 carer) Grandstand tickets kindly donated by Silverstone Circuit to the British MotoGP 2022.


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ABLESTAY LONDON (worth £300)

We are offering 1 free night at AbleStay London, as part of a 3 night stay.


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WATERWAYS DISABILITY SWIM RING (worth £50 each)

(large) 18kg - 70kg - modelled here by our son.  We have 8 rings to offer.  These are only available to purchase in the USA.

https://waterwaybabies.com/product/large-neck-ring/


BETTYS TEAROOMS - CELEBRATION GIFT TIN (worth £100)

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For terms & conditions of Prize Draw please email [email protected]

 GOOD LUCK!


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

1 free ticket entry for the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts Prints (worth £20 each)

£40 or more

2 free ticket entries for the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts Prints (worth £20 each)

£60 or more

3 free ticket entries for the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts Prints (worth £20 each)

£80 or more

4 free ticket entries for the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts Prints (worth £20 each)

£100 or more

6 free entry tickets for the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts Prints (worth £20 each)

£150 or more

10 free ticket entries to the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts prints (worth £20 each)

£250 or more

20 free ticket entries to the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts prints (worth £20 each)

£500 or more

50 free ticket entries to the BIG PRIZE DRAW

BIG PRIZE DRAW – SEE STORY FOR PHOTOS & INFO • 1 week holiday at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £3000) • 1 week holiday at Gunwharf Keys apartment (worth £1500) • x4 weekend stays at Foolish Wood, Harrogate (worth £1500) • x4 tickets to MotoGP at Silverstone (worth £400) • x20 1 night at AbleStay (worth £300) • 1 Betty’s Hamper (worth £100) • x8 Swim Rings (worth £50 each) • x20 Little Weaver Arts prints (worth £20 each)

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