In the approach to Indoor Allergy Week 2011 [14 to 20 November], a conference centre in Worcestershire has become the first venue of its kind in the world to qualify for an international allergy-friendly award.
Cotswold Conference Centre, on the Farncombe Estate near Broadway, has been accredited with a prestigious ECARF Seal of Quality for eight new Allergy Free bedrooms and a wide range of allergy-friendly policies.
“We are delighted to give this award to Cotswold Conference Centre, the first dedicated conference venue in the world to earn the ECARF Seal,” says Professor Torsten Zuberbier, an allergy expert from the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation. “Conferences can be a headache for allergy sufferers, who are confined to meeting rooms and bedrooms with little chance to escape.
“Allergy at work and at school leads to lower levels of concentration and achievement. We want to find affordable ways to make people’s lives easier.”
One in four people in the UK now suffers from an allergy. Cotswold Conference Centre’s accreditation is an acknowledgement of a raft of measures to combat the problem.
This autumn, the centre completed a £3.5m bedroom courtyard of 32 bedrooms, of which eight are designated Allergy Free. No smoking, pot plants or pets are permitted. Wooden floors replace carpet, there are blinds instead of curtains and a special vacuum cleaner gives 99.9% filtration and helps eradicate dust mites.
In the dining room, kitchen staff deal with a growing number of allergies: dairy, gluten, peanut, nuts – even celery. In the bedrooms, delegates allergic to perfume can request fragrance-free toiletries.
“The body of scientific evidence shows us that allergies are getting worse,” says Professor Zuberbier. “ECARF takes a pragmatic approach, we do not want to put allergy sufferers into a sterile box, but offer support for a better life.
“Over-insulated buildings can make things worse. It always helps to be able to open a window.”
Cotswold Conference Centre’s operations manager Richard Howdle has noticed a significant increase in allergic customers in the past 10 years. “We have many different reactions to deal with these days,” he says. “If you have lactose intolerance, we will offer you a lactose-free coffee to help you concentrate on your conference or training.
“If anyone comes to us with an allergy, we do our best to make their stay just as comfortable as at home.”
More information can be found at www.cotswoldconferencecentre.com
Notes for Editors
ECARF was launched in 2003 by business entrepreneur Jorgen Philip-Sorensen and supports allergy sufferers throughout the European Community. Many well-known brand names – such as Electrolux, Hilton, Philips and Ford – have been awarded the ECARF Seal.
Cotswold Conference Centre on Farncombe Estate near Broadway was launched in 2001 by the entrepreneur Jørgen Philip-Sørensen. The Philip-Sørensen family retains control of the 370-acre estate and has been investing heavily in the refurbishment and building of additional bedrooms.
Companies like the RAC, Balfour Beatty and Allied Bakeries meet and train at our purpose-built training and conference rooms. At the weekends, Farncombe Estate offers a diverse lifelong learning programme for the general public. Subjects range from singing to cupcake decoration, art history to music appreciation.
For more information and pictures, contact
Cotswold Conference Centre, Farncombe Estate,
Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LJ.
Tel: 01386 854303
For more information and pictures, contact Debbie Sarjant Marketing Manager Cotswold Conference Centre, Farncombe Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LJ. Tel: 01386 854303 firstname.lastname@example.org www.farncombeestate.co.uk www.cotswoldconferencecentre.com
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