London claims to be one of the most accessible cities in Europe – but where do you stay in London if you have a disability? And what does ‘accessible’ truly mean? The reality is that, with over 250,000 people in the UK with complex physical disabilities , there is hardly any choice in London.

Individuals with complex physical disabilities will often need level wheelchair access, a profiling bed, ceiling hoists, a fully accessible bathroom and an adjoining bedroom for their caregiver. These needs simply cannot be met in a standard hotel room – some grab rails and a wider doorway doesn’t always mean the property is ‘accessible’.

AbleStay aim to be the first charity to provide truly accessible accommodation

All of this is set to change if AbleStay achieve its goal – to be the first charity to provide truly accessible accommodation in London. The charity has purchased a bungalow, and is now crowdfunding to pay for adaptations to the property and to buy essential equipment. 

Crowdfunding appeal launched

Its crowdfunding closes on Sunday, 31 October, and it aims to raise £55,000. Irwin Mitchell represent clients who have sustained life changing injuries, and we are helping the charity by pledging our support and trying to raise awareness of AbleStay and its crowdfunding efforts. 

AbleStay really understands what is required from its own lived experience, and 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. These seemingly small items really will take some of the stress away from travelling.

Inspiration behind AbleStay

The inspiration behind AbleStay comes from Charles and Jo’s son, Kit, who is 13 years old and has quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Kit is a wheelchair user and has no independent sitting, standing or walking. He requires hoisting for all transfers and talks using his computer. He requires a carer to help him with all aspects of day to day life. 

Here is a video of Kit talking about AbleStay. In the video, Kit says he would “.. love to stay in London, go on the Eye, visit the Science museum and do some stadium tours. Please help the charity AbleStay make this possible for me, and many others like me”.

AbleStay London

AbleStay London is a few minutes’ away from an accessible train station (25 mins into Waterloo), sleeps six, x2 accessible bedrooms, x2 profiling beds, a ceiling track hoist, fully accessible bathroom and off street WAV parking - all in a contemporary single storey home. 

AbleStay has ambitious goals and want to expand in order to provide accessible properties in city locations across the UK, giving disabled travellers and their families the same freedom as everyone else. They also hope to continue fundraising to be able to subsidise short breaks for families who may not be able to afford the cost of a visit to London.

Can you help Kit and AbleStay achieve their goals? If so - please visit the crowdfunding page in order to show your support. and spread the word.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and their families living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities at our dedicated birth injuries section.