Disability champion to tackle on-trade issues

3rd December, 2018 by Melita Kiely

The UK government is searching for a new food and drink disability champion to help combat issues disabled consumers face in the on-trade – such as having guide dogs refused entry into pubs and restaurants.

Alcohol cocktails celebration WEB

The new food and drink disability champion will help combat issues disabled consumers face in on-trade venues

To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities today (3 December), the government has confirmed it will recruit a new champion to raise awareness of the need for improved access to venues, better customer service and staff training to “ensure that venues understand the needs of disabled consumers”.

The charity Guide Dogs reports that nearly half of guide dog owners are refused access to venues, such as restaurants and pubs, every year.

This will be the 15th champion appointed by the government, with others working across sectors such as banking, music and tourism. Applications are being accepted from today (3 December).

Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, health and work, said: “There are nearly 14 million disabled people living in the UK and just like everyone else they enjoy going out to eat and drink as a way of socialising with friends.

“But poor access and customer service often mean disabled people might just choose to stay at home instead.

“The food and drink industry must ensure it is capitalising on the spending power of disabled people and their households – the ‘purple pound’ – worth £249 billion every year.”

Leave a Reply