Welcome to CHuC
the Ceiling Hoist users Club web-site:
CHuC (the Ceiling Hoist users Club) was set up by the late Sue Maynard Campbell MBE, M.D. of Equal Ability CIC, to promote the interests of those disabled people who need to use hoists and particularly those who need, or prefer, ceiling track hoists (also caller tracker and tracking hoists). The lack of ceiling track hoists in away from home accommodation (hotels, guest houses and self-catering accommodation) severely limits many disabled people’s ability to go away for leisure, business, or important social events. This website is designed to bring together accommodation providers, hoist suppliers and hoist users for the benefit of all. Sue had been a hoist user for most of her life and understood the frustrations and inconvenience of not having anywhere she could stay without a good deal of inconvenience and additional expense. Her aim was to have ceiling hoist facilities provided as the norm and CHuC continues to persuade, cajoul and educate accommodation providers to continue her campaign.
An open letter to all Hotel Managers, Execs, CEOs and anyone responsible for the hotel accessibility policies.
It is 2016 and the world is full of wonderful technology which is enabling people to do things that hadn’t even been thought of, less dreamed about 40 years ago. Some 47 years ago we put a man on the moon using what is now considered ancient technology, but we still did it. In 2016 disabled people who want to stay in a hotel just like any other human being simply can’t just because they need some technology to support them, namely, a simple electro-mechanical ceiling hoist to get them from their wheelchair to the bed and back again. Is that too much to ask in 2016? Why in 2016 are there less than 17 hotels in the whole of the UK and Ireland who can offer their disabled guests a ceiling hoist? Of those 17 hotels, 4 are specialist ones offering holiday and respite care especially for customers with disabilities. Outside of UK&I we are aware of just 9 more mainstream hotels who can provide their customers with a ceiling hoist and 7 of them are in Las Vegas!
I believe that all the people that this letter is aimed at should spend just 1 of their working days accompanying a wheelchair bound hoist user going about their daily life. I am sure it would change their attitude towards disability – I know it did mine. I was once a person in the street who hadn’t really given disabled people any real thought. I may have held a door open or moved out of the way but that was about the extent of my involvement.
I then met the late Sue Maynard Campbell MBE, Managing Director of the Disability Consultancy, Equal Ability, and the founder of the CHuC website. After a few hours I began to appreciate the hurdles she had to overcome just to go about her daily life. I had never bothered about a 3” step up into a shop or public space. I could just lift my feet and step up but to Sue in her wheelchair it was a barrier that she couldn’t pass. I began to see these barriers all around. The environment has improved but still has a long way to go. Some of it is physical adaption but education of able bodied people who don’t need to consider these barriers is just as, if not more, important. Why would you do something to overcome these obstacles if you don’t see them as such?
It is the same for hoist users. They are just normal people who want to do normal things like visit friends for a weekend or go to a reunion or just get away for a break but they can’t find anywhere within 100 miles of their chosen destination that can provide them with a ceiling hoist. Is this really 2016?
Modern ceiling hoists don’t need to be bulky and ugly spoiling the aesthetics of a hotel room. Track can be recessed into the ceiling and can even have built-in lighting to act as a ‘feature’ when a hoist is not in use. A hoist can be shut away in a nice looking bedside cupboard when not in use, charging the battery, so it is ready for use when required. A hoist installation isn’t that expensive at around £4-5K, not much in the big scheme of things but it makes many people’s lives just that little bit better!
A ceiling hoist in your hotel can bring in a lot more income, especially if you have meeting and conference facilities. People will book your facilities for receptions, conferences or parties because you have the hoist. It would be a positive asset! One major hotel chain say they identified an additional £300K of income in the first year after installing a ceiling hoist through conferences, receptions and meetings which were booked because they had the room with a ceiling hoist.
Lastly a plea to those who already have hoist, and those hotels who may install one, to publicise it! So many websites fail to mention anything about their hoist or else it is tucked away in the small print of their accessibility page (if they have one!). Embrace it - get the message out and people will come – use it as a USP!
Let’s make 2016 the year the world changed for ceiling hoist users!
Manager CHuC Website
16 June 2016
The CHuC Editorial
We welcome 3 new properties to our accommodation listings. Two of them are in North Yorkshire, one in the village Grosmont which was used as a location in the Yorkshire TV series Hearbeat and also has a railway station for the North Yorks Moors Railway which featured in the Harry Potter films, and the second property is a few miles from Whitby where there are 3 accessible cottages on a farm and all have ceiling track hoists in their ground floor bedrooms along with a wet room. The third property is on Queensland's Gold Coast in Australia and can be rented as a 2, 4 or 6 bedroomed getaway. For more info click on the links in our "Latest News" column to the left.
Today we got a new follower on Twitter, @MigLoo4U2 (www.migloo.co.uk). They make a portable changing space with a bench and a gantry hoist enclosed in a small tent. On reading their website they describe a chicken and egg situation when trying to get these changing spaces used at festivals and shows. Nobody went to the shows because they knew the facilities weren't there so the organisers weren't interested saying there was no demand. Finally, they supplied one free of charge to an event but nobody used it. The organisers didn't bother to advertise the facility was there so nobody who needed a changing place went along..... This is exactly the problem we have with hotels! Nobody asks the hotels for a hoist because they know they don't have them. The hotels say there is no demand for a ceiling hoist so people struggle on with limited facilities and choice. The answer is to always ask for a hoist even when you know there isn't one. One day someone in the hotel may just ask 'what is this hoist thing people keep asking about?' At that point we have a chance of persuading them there is a real demand and it would be a good thing for both their customers and financially for the hotel to install a hoist. If you don't ask you don't get!!!!
Another pet peeve is for all those hotels who do have a ceiling hoist available - please shout it from the rooftops...don't be ashamed of it, it is a great USP so make the most of it. How many of the hotels websites listed on CHuC can you easily find details about the accessible room with a hoist? They are often hidden somewhere or worse not mentioned at all. Some don't even have any accessibility section...
And finally, we are looking for a well known figure to be a Patron of CHuC. We are looking for someone who is instantly recognisable and has a personal connection to a hoist user - a tall order but there must be someone out there. Being a Patron would mean as little as lending their name to the cause with no other involvement. We don't think we generate any political controversy and the only fundraising is from the sponsored advertising and the Google ads which simply go towards the website operating costs. They could of course become more involved if they wished.. Please let us have any suggestions.
17 Nov 2016
NEW Clober Farm, Milngavie, Scotland
CHuC is pleased to announce the avilablility of yet more accessible accommodation with a ceiling hoist in Scotland. Clober Farm is in Milngavie, just a few miles north of Glasgow. The property is owned and run by Spinal Injuries Scotland and will accommodate 5-6 people. It can be hired from as little as £70 a night for 2 people
17 January 2016
NEW - Two more hotel rooms with ceiling track hoists in London
The 4* Dorsett Hotel overlooking Shepherds Bush Green in West London opened in June 2014 and has 26 accessible rooms and 2 of these are fitted with OpeMed OT200 ceiling track hoists. For more details click here
New Self Catering Accommodation in Scotland
We are pleased to welcome three new properties in Scotland with a ceiling hoist available.
Clober Farm is a recently refurbished property that sleeps 5-6 with level access throughout. It is close to Loch Lomand and the Trossachs and an ideal spot for visiting Glasgow and the surrounding area.
The Rings is a purpose built property set in 90 acres of peaceful Fife farmland near Cupar in Fife. Ideally situated for visiting St Andrews (on or list of "where I want to stay" places) or Dundee which is just 35 minutes away. The Rings can accommodate up to 16 guests and has moveable walls so that it can be split into smaller units making it very flexible.
The Moat House is a refurbished 200 year old property in Annan which sleeps up to 12 in five very large bedrooms with four of them wheelchair accessible. It has a platform lift connecting the 2 floors. Two bedrooms have X-Y celing hoists and one has a profiling double bed and the other two profiling single beds. One of the wet rooms also has an X-Y ceiling hoist and has an adult size changing / shower bed.
Details and contact information for all three of the properties above can be found on out Self-Catering - Scotland page
NEW - Hambleton near Poulton-le-Fylde in Lancashire
A group of 5 outstanding cottages, set on Brickhouse Farm amongst six acres of lovely grounds and two large lakes, nestled in the hamlet of Hambleton yet only five miles from the market town of Poulton-le-Fylde
All 5 cottages are accessible and 3 of them have a ceiling hoist from bedroom to bathroom as well as a ceiling track hoist to an external illuminated hot-tub.
NEW - Flat Spaces
A Unique Concept in Holiday Accommodation for people of All Abilities
FLAT SPACES is a new concept in accessible holiday accommodation. Born out of the idea that with new building technologies a well designed flat level holiday cottage could easily be replicated around the country, if not further away! Our plans are nearly complete, but we need input from as many people with disabilities as possible, to get it right.
Each dwelling will have complete flat level access, two large main bedrooms, open plan living areas, wide doors, a ceiling hoist have been taken into account with wheelchair users and the less mobile in mind.
Flat Spaces are doing their utmost to try to make these properties as accessible to the majority of users that they can. To do this they need to gain as much information regarding equipment and peoples use of it that they can. This will enable them to provide the best accessible accommodation on the market. They would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to fill out the following questionnaire. Thank You. http://www.flatspaces.co.uk/supportus.html
UPDATE - the first Flat Spaces property is now complete in Ropley, Hampshire.
The address is:
Flat Spaces Hampshire
NEW Scotland - Fife
De Vere Hotel in Nottingham
The new De Vere Orchard Hotel opened on 6th November. It is located on the Nottingham University Campus adjacent to the East Midlands Conference Centre and has 5 accessible rooms, one of which is fitted with a ceiling hoist. The 202 bed eco-friendly hotel is just 2 miles from Nottingham City Centre and just 4 miles from the M1 motorway. For more info click this link
Crowne Plaza Hotel Glasgow
The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow now has a newly refurbished accessible room fitted with ceiling hoist track in the bedroom and bathroom and a Freeway P-200 transportable hoist. As with other IHG hotels it was not possible to run the track direct from the bedroom through to the bathroom due to the building construction so it is necessary to unhook the transportable hoist from one track and hook it on to the other. For further information Click Here
The alternative to a ceiling hoist?
The HandiMove Wall Lift can be fitted to a bracket on the wall or on a floor to ceiling post and can be moved from room to room with additional brackets or posts. With a lifting capacity of 145kg and a maximum reach of 1.3m this is the alternative to a fixed ceiling track hoist so now you can install a fixed hoist even when the property has a low ceiling. It is available in UK from Dolphin Mobility, Lindale Healthcare and Lynch Healthcare. It is also avalable throught Europe, Israel, South Africa, Australia and USA.
At Last - a hoist in Dublin!
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI) now has accessible accommodation available at their HQ in Dublin. It consists of 4 bedrooms, 3 of which are fitted with Liko hoists on an X-Y frame to cover the whole room. You can book a room for 1-7 nights at just €25 per room per night. The appartment is fully equiped and the bedrooms have hi-lo profiling beds. More details are available here.
Premier Inn, London Stratford East
UPDATE - July 2014
We welcome Premier Inn as the latest Hotel group to install a celing hoist in an accessible room. The new hotel is situated right in the heart of the Olympic Park at Stratford and is above the new Westfield shopping centre. See more details here
The International Hotel, Telford
Unfortunately this hotel no longer has an accessible room with a ceiling hoist. One of the reasons given for removing it was lack of use! I'm afraid it is a matter of use it or lose it! These facilities cost money to maintain, service and test on a regular basis and if they don't generate sufficient income then they will be remnoved. The fault is generally not all one sided though as many of the accommodation providers with hoists do not advertise the fact. Please, if you know of any accommodation with a ceiling hoist that CHuC isn't aware of please let us know so that we can circulate the details as widely as possible.
1 February 2016
Legoland UK Resort Hotel now has two rooms with hoists
Nick Kent, MD of OpeMed (Europe) announced they have installed hoists in two rooms at the new Resort Hotel at Legoland UK in Windsor.
We need your help! Do you know of any other accommodation where ceiling track hoists are available for the guests? If so please let us know and we will list the details on our accommodation page.
Freedom Shores Resort, Mexico
A purpose built accessible resort on the Yucatan Peninsula with gantry type hoists available. Read more here Freedom Shores
We want comments and experiences from ceiling hoist users. Does your hoist do everything you expected - was the service you received from the supplier good or bad? We want your honest comments and experiences of different models of ceiling track hoists so that we can build up a picture of good and bad points and the quality of service provided by hoist manufacturers and suppliers. See our reviews page
Where do you want to stay?
Let us know where you would like to see a hotel with a ceiling track hoist available in the UK. It could be a major city or a seaside resort or even a quiet country getaway. Tell us where and we will see what we can do to persuade a hotel there or close by to fit a hoist for the most popular choices...
Cloud 9 Escapes
Newly refurbished cottage in Ironbridge
We have sympathetically refurbished and adapted our 18th century cottage next to the River Severn in Ironbridge to provide comfortable and accessible self-catering accommodation for the less mobile, their families and friends. We wanted to create a beautiful place for memorable holidays.
The first guests have already booked again for later in the year saying "they had a great time and went home feeling relaxed and re-energised"
CHuC does make a difference!
I have just returned from a weekend in London which for the first time actually was an enjoyable and stress-free experience. This was due entirely to the work of Sue and the organisation who managed to get a overhead hoists installed at the Holiday Inn Kensington to name but one location. I cannot explain the joy I have had from being invited to a party in London for my Best friend's 30th birthday and actually saying yes I can attend. So often I have to decline offers as I'm always held back by my inability to transfer independently without a hoist. The hassle of trying to organise equipment and use it in inaccessible rooms has been well documented on the CHuC website. This weekend was different there was no hassle whatsoever and I am still buzzing now to be honest.
Phoenix Holiday Bungalow, Braunton, N Devon
Luxury 2 bed-roomed bungalow with disabled access, offering overhead hoist, wet-room, level throughout, spa whirlpool bathroom, and more. Situated in the picturesque village of Braunton North Devon, this is a self catering holiday bungalow that can sleep up to 6. Care can be provided if required through our domiciliary care service, rated excellent, and would be charged separately.