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News release - Issued by Make It York

New tourism initiative announced For Disability Awareness Day

As part of this year’s Disability Awareness Day (16 July 2017) Visit York has launched a new initiative with Be Independent, York’s provider of equipment and 24-hour response service, and hoteliers, self-catering and B&B owners, to help make the city more accessible for visitors and holidaymakers.

Be Independent supplies bespoke packages of equipment to accommodation providers in the city. This enables people with personal equipment needs to enjoy a short-break, knowing their equipment needs will be met; reducing any anxieties of staying away from home. The scheme works by guests pre-ordering their equipment so it is installed for their arrival at their accommodation.

Heather Barden, Be Independent’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to enjoy a short-break in York safe in the knowledge the equipment they rely on at home will be installed in their accommodation ahead of their arrival. None of our equipment requires drilling or screwing to the walls or furniture, so can be installed and removed without any marks or damage to the property. This means that we can make any accommodation suitable for people with equipment needs.”

There are around *11.9 million disabled people in the UK. Almost 1 in 5 people (19%) in the UK have a disability; this figure has remained relatively constant over time (12.2 million in 2012/13) and over 90% of York’s visitors are from other parts of the UK.

Sally Greenaway, Head of Visit York, said, “York has a range of services available for those in need of extra support during their visit as well as an excellent range of hotels, B&Bs and self-catering options to accommodate guests with access and equipment needs. We need to work together with partners and businesses to help make our city more accessible, we hope this new partnership will be popular and we look forward to welcoming new visitors to enjoy our beautiful city.”

Be Independent can provide a range of equipment including: raised toilet seats, toilet frames, perching stools, shower boards, mobile hoists, Easy Fit bed rails, wheelchairs etc. Packages of equipment start from £10 per day. For more information about York’s Accessible Accommodation scheme contact Be Independent on 01904 645000 or visit or ask about this service when booking your break in York.


Notes to editors:

*Source – the Papworth Trust

Visit York’s accessibility Information is available here –

Disability Awareness Day ("DAD") is the world's largest 'not for profit' voluntary-led disability exhibition, held annually in a huge tented village within the grounds of Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington. Visitors to the show will find over 250 exhibitors, equipment suppliers, transport, holidays, leisure, employment, support groups and services.

Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.


Key tourism facts:
6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs

For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436