11 November 2016
Premier Inn has won a prestigious national award for accessibility from charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, having been put forward by deaf telephone engineer and beneficiary of the charity Ian Finney and his hearing dog, black Labrador, Cinders.
Britain’s much loved hotel chain was nominated for the ‘Open Doors’ award in recognition of outstanding accessibility and the warm, practical welcome it offers deaf people and their hearing dogs. The UK’s top rated hotel chain according to Which? was named winner at the award ceremony held today, 10th November, at a star-studded ceremony in central London.
Ian Finney, from Aberdeenshire, nominated Premier Inn for the accolade after staying at the hotels across the length and breadth of the country, both for business and pleasure. Ian has always experienced a warm welcome for himself and Cinders and was particularly impressed with the deaf-friendly features that Premier Inn carries as standard.
Ian commented: “For a deaf person their hearing dog can be a lifeline, giving them security and confidence when out and about in public. Premier Inn has obviously thought about its equalities policy; you can go in with no stress whatsoever, knowing that the team members are properly informed about the Equality Act  and that your hearing dog will be welcomed. It makes such a difference.”
“In fact Premier Inn caters for all deaf people, with features such as strobe lights linked to the fire alarm, a deaf guard system to place under the pillow to shake you awake if the fire alarm goes off and they also have very good subtitled televisions – so you don’t have to worry about turning up the volume so loud it disturbs the people in the next room!”
Samantha Fensome, Accessibility Co-ordinator for Premier Inn, attended the star-studded ceremony in Central London and picked up the award. A film demonstrating the outstanding support the hotel offers deaf people with hearing dogs was also showcased.
Samantha commented, “We are delighted to have won the award and it’s great that the work we have been doing to accommodate all guests, whatever their needs has been recognised by Hearing Dogs.
“We ensure all of our team members receive disability awareness training and we regularly update our information. We also provide training material that shows working dogs in their coloured harnesses so our team are fully aware of which assistance dog a guest has with them when they arrive to check-in.
“Our guests tell us that the warm welcome our team members provide is really important to them, so winning this award is a real honour and it confirms that across our 740 hotels we really are fulfilling our guest promise; offering great value, comfortable and accessible rooms and excellent customer service.”
Ian Finney concluded, “My work entitles me to go on a large number of training courses around the UK and I recommend that whenever possible they use Premier Inn for me. So, thank you Premier Inn for a good night’s sleep!”
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People is the only national Charity working to provide hearing dogs to transform the lives of deaf people across the UK. These dogs not only provide vital practical support by alerting their deaf owners to sounds they would otherwise miss, they also provide greater fulfilment of life, companionship and greater independence. For more information visit hearingdogs.org.uk
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