Mollett’s Farm is a local, accessible holiday location near our head office in Saxmundham and Emily Yates, a travel writer and disability advocate visited them recently. Below is her write up of her stay, and you can read more of her inspirational writing on her website:
At the beginning of July, the holiday blues hit. I had just returned from a ten week stint living and working for MetroRio, the major underground transport network in Rio de Janeiro. Waking up to a breath-taking view of Copacabana Beach and soaking up the Brazilian sun was certainly a daily luxury!
It was on my return to the UK that I met with Ed Warner, the founder of Motionspot, an amazing organisation that has really managed to bridge the gap between function and form when it comes to accessible equipment. Their accessible bathrooms are beautiful – not clinical – whilst boasting everything that those with disabilities could need, from sensored mirrors that light up with a swipe of the hand, to gorgeous chrome grabrails and towel heaters that will never be hot enough to burn hands. The best part of all? Most of this equipment is portable and can be removed within five minutes, although I seriously doubt that anyone who doesn’t require a shower seat or sink of wheelchair height would even recognise the difference; it is that stunning.
Richard and Sasha Ayres of Mollett’s Farm, Saxmundham, Suffolk, have used Motionspot’s bathroom equipment as part of realising their own dream to offer self-catering holiday accommodation with a real twist; all six of their ‘stables’ and ‘granary’ apartments are kitted out with those subtle but vital touches for the accessibility conscious. Indeed, it is not just the bathrooms that impress.
I was invited to stay at Mollett’s for three nights to test out this special accommodation and Motionspot bathroom from a wheelchair user’s point of view. My ‘stable’ apartment was all on one floor, with wide entrances through front and back, allowing me to spend time in either the paved communal garden filled with roses and tranquillity, or my own private patio to the rear. (The ‘granary’ apartments are on two levels, with a pull-out sofa bed on the ground floor with the same accessible kitchen and living set-up. However, the bathrooms are upstairs and without accessibility, so whilst not ideal for a wheelchair user, these apartments could benefit a walker with minor mobility requirements or other conditions.)
In all six apartments there are lowered window ledges, higher beds for wheelchair transfer and space under the bed for hoisting (or sofa beds at ground floor level), wide doors, lowered kitchen units and an accessible sink, a pull-out accessible table with storage space for dining chairs, lowered light switches and sockets, and of course general access around the site, including the communal garden.
The first thing to be noticed when entering the ‘stable’ apartments is the huge, inviting bed. High enough for wheelchair transfer and with ample space underneath to allow for hoist use, the bed is also positioned for wheelchair access at either side of it, perfect for a chair-using couple looking for a luxurious getaway. Moving into the colour-schemed kitchen area, the cutlery and cooking equipment is all at accessible height, with space underneath the sink for a wheelchair or dining chair, aiding washing up in comfort! The Ayres also provide complimentary breakfast hamper for guests, including a jar of gorgeous jam, homemade on the farm. Tables with stowaway chairs are also a real asset, providing seating for several guests whilst maintaining space for those who may not need them. With these great provisions in place, alongside the masterful Motionspot bathrooms, Mollett’s Farm is truly prepared for guests of all ages, abilities and approaches.
One of my very favourite things about Mollett’s Farm is the atmosphere of progression that surrounds it. Both Richard and Sasha are constantly researching and trialling out new and different methods and equipment to ensure that their establishment is as inclusive for all as possible. Disabled parking spaces will be planned and painted very soon, further paths will be created so that everyone who needs to, can avoid the gravel surfaces that surround the site, and Sasha is already thinking of introducing vibrating alarm clocks for the hard of hearing and changing the door locking system as she realises that keys may not be so easy to use for all. This factor of ambition will undoubtedly help the family to run a holiday and short breaks business that is truly a front runner of its kind in both tourism and accessibility.