Access Information

It is central to our mission that we work towards equality of access across all of our programmes. For access details about our houses and the support available both in-person and online, please read the relevant sections below. If you have any access needs that we have not covered here, please contact us by emailing access@arvon.org

Arvon at Home Access

We are committed to making our online Masterclasses, How I Write, Writing Weeks, Evening Courses and Writing Days as accessible to as many people as possible and so have integrated the following features:  

Across all of Arvon at Home  

  • All sessions will have auto-generated captioning 
  • There is a Chat facility to ask any questions. 

Masterclasses 

  • A recording of the Masterclass will be available to view for one month after it is aired live, simply log in to your account on our website and you’ll find a link under the ‘Event Details’ tab in the ‘Video recording’ column (you may need to scroll right on your screen to see it), similarly, if any learning resources are available, another link will appear under the ‘Course Materials’ tab
  • There is a Chat and Q & A facility to ask any questions 
  • Zoom webinar format (your video and audio will remain off throughout, & your name will not be visible to other participants so it is a ‘relaxed’ event)  
  • During sessions we will have a text version available via screen share (if you require these in advance of the session, please email arvonathome@arvon.org).    

How I Write

  • There is a Chat and Q & A facility to ask any questions 
  • Zoom webinar format (your video and audio will remain off throughout, & your name will not be visible to other participants so it is a ‘relaxed’ event)
  • A recording will be available to view for one month after the event is aired live, simply log in to your account on our website and you’ll find a link under the ‘Event Details’ tab in the ‘Video recording’ column (you may need to scroll right on your screen to see it), similarly, if any learning resources are available, another link will appear under the ‘Course Materials’ tab.

Online Writing Days 

  • A recording of the workshops will be available to view for one month after it is aired live, simply log in to your account on our website and you’ll find a link under the ‘Event Details’ tab in the ‘Video recording’ column (you may need to scroll right on your screen to see it), similarly, if any learning resources are available, another link will appear under the ‘Course Materials’ tab.
  • There is a Chat and Q & A facility to ask any questions.
  • All sessions of the day are delivered live via Zoom meetings, with the option of cameras off or on. 
  • During sessions we will have a text version available via screen share (if you require these in advance of the session, please email arvonathome@arvon.org). 

Writing Weeks and Evening Courses

  • Courses are delivered by Zoom meeting, which means they are not recorded.
  • Courses have much smaller groups than Masterclasses and How I Write events, and are also more interactive with your fellow course participants and tutors, so cameras and audio are usually on (though both are completely optional). If you would prefer your camera and audio to be off at all times, it would be helpful to let your course host know this in advance.
  • We use Padlet as a landing page for all course materials, and to provide an optional platform for interaction with your tutors and fellow course participants. If you would like some more information about this, or if you have any anxiety about using this platform, please email arvonathome@arvon.org 

Subject to funding/permissions (please contact arvonathome@arvon.org for more details)

  • Recording of Writing Weeks and Evening Courses
  • Downloadable transcripts
  • BSL interpretation
  • Live captioning 

If you have any access needs that we have not covered here, please contact us on access@arvon.org 

General Access Information - Residential courses

  • Staff are available to help during office hours.
  • Emergency information is provided for out of hours.
  • We have emergency evacuation procedures for disabled visitors.
  • While we offer some accessible facilities, our centres do vary considerably. This page details the physical accessibility of our writing houses. If you have specific needs, questions or concerns, please contact us at access@arvon.org.

Available on all courses for those who have a mobility impairment

Regrettably, the only house we can recommend for wheelchair users is the Hurst,  and the adjacent writers retreat, The Clock House.  However, we are working to change this and have just received capital investment funding from Arts Council England to redevelop Lumb bank.

  • If you need to bring a PA we can accommodate them  at no extra cost. Please get in touch to organise – details below.
  • We have various seating in the houses, but if you require a specific type of chair eg one with arms, please let us know.
  • If you need to take some time out to rest, or be alone, you’re welcome to do so. Participation in any activity is entirely at your discretion.

Available on all courses for those who are Deaf, Partially Deaf or who have significant hearing loss 

We provide BSL interpreters on some courses. If you require this please check whether the course you are interested in offers this facility.  Or get in touch on our dedicated access Email.

  • We have a portable hearing loop system.
  • We have a vibrating pillow pad linked to our fire alarm system.

Available on all courses for those who are blind, partially sighted or who have significant sight loss 

  • We welcome guide dogs
  • We can provide information in large print and other formats, such as word documents or PDFs.
  • We can provide large print handouts for workshops
  • We can provide additional desk lamps
  • There is external lighting for navigating around the property, fixed to the external elevations of the main house, front and back, as well as external buildings. Lighting is switched on and off manually by staff each day.

Available on all courses for those who have Dyslexia 

There’s no need to worry about spelling, grammar or handwriting on our courses, the focus is on creativity.

  • We can provide information on coloured paper
  • We may be able to make arrangements such as sourcing audio of suggested reading.
  • You are welcome to use any supportive technology during the sessions, such as a dictaphone or laptop.

Available on all courses to those who identify as Neuro Divergent

Arvon is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment to all.

  • We can provide information on coloured paper
  • We may be able to make arrangements such as sourcing audio of suggested reading.
  • You are welcome to use any supportive technology during the sessions, such as a dictaphone or laptop.

If you need to take some time out to rest, or be alone, you’re welcome to do so. Participation in any activity is entirely at your discretion.

Available on all courses for those who have mental health concerns 

Arvon courses can be challenging for some people with mental health concerns because of the schedule and sociability of the week. Creative writing can also bring up challenging emotions and memories. Considering a selfcare plan before you arrive can be helpful. Bring along any items or activities that can help you feel better if you start experiencing issues.

  • Centre staff are available to speak to during the core hours of the day. They are very welcoming and will be happy to sit down with you to listen to how you are feeling. Out of hours we recommend contacting Samaritans on 116 123.
  • If you need to take some time out to rest, or be alone, you’re welcome to do so. Participation in any activity is entirely at your discretion.

If you have any questions or concerns and want to chat to a member of staff prior to booking please contact us on access@arvon.org

Food, Special Diets and Allergies

We are happy to accommodate for any special diets and allergies. As our centres are in rural locations, it is important to know your requirements in advance so provisions can be bought in. When you book your course, please let the centre know your dietary requirements. Staff will then design menus to take these into account, eg allergies, dairy- or gluten- free, vegan or vegetarian. If you have specific medical or religious requirements, please inform the centre staff in advance.

Grants 

We have a grants scheme that can cover a portion of your course fees. Disability costs and additional living/support costs are taken into account when considering your grant application. We encourage applications from D/deaf and/or Disabled people. If you are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or Means tested state benefits, you can also get concession pricing on selected courses with late availability. 

 

 

The Hurst Access

PHYSICAL ACCESS: The Hurst is the only house that is fully accessible to wheelchair users. There is access to every room via a lift. All communal spaces, including workshop spaces, have level access. There are no steps on the ground floor. All door frames measure the required 825mm, although the fire doors installed reduce this width slightly. All door handles are at an accessible height, with power sockets located at 500mm from the floor. There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor.  

KITCHEN/DINING: Writers take it in turns to jointly prepare meals.  If you are unable to do this, it is not a problem, you will get the opportunity to remove yourself from the rota when you book or contact us on the dedicated access email or phone number.  All work surfaces are a standard height, but lower tables can be provided.  There are base cupboards with utensils, crockery and other supplies at an accessible height.  We have a portable step for those with restricted height to reach surfaces etc. For dining, we have a range of seating, benches and chairs. If you want to ensure that a particular type of chair is available, i.e. a chair with arms, please contact us on our dedicated access email or phone number.  

LIFT: We have an eight-person lift: 630kg capacity.  

BEDROOMS: All rooms are equipped with en suite bathrooms, six of which are wet rooms equipped for wheelchair access. You can bring a Personal Assistant with you if required,  for no additional cost. You can choose this option on the booking form, or contact us on the dedicated access Email or phone number.   

FIRE SAFETY: We have a buddy system for evacuation, and a separate, accessible exit from the building on the first floor if the writer is in their room. 

OUTSIDE: The main entrance is accessible from the car park. A ramp with a railing runs along the side of the house to the main front door.  The surface on the car park and ramp is paved. There is a level access terrace with seating.  

NEAREST TRAIN STATION: The nearest train station is Craven Arms, 8.5 miles away. Both platforms are accessible but need to be approached from different roads. Taxi drivers will need to be told ahead of arrival which platform you are arriving on. We have phone numbers of accessible taxis and can organise this on your behalf – you can request this on the booking form or contact us through the dedicated Email or phone number.  

THE GROUNDS: There are lovely parklands around the Hurst. Some of the pathways have level access and hard surfaces. There are some slopes. There is also some seating situated along the pathways. 

Lumb Bank Access

PHYSICAL ACCESS: We do not currently recommend this house if you are a wheelchair user. Lumb Bank is an 18th Century building with lots of uneven paving and narrow doorways. The planned redevelopment will create level access across the site, until then The Hurst is our fully accessible writing house.

SHARED SPACES: There is level access from outside into the workshop room and level access into the sitting room. Door widths are generally narrow, though all door handles are at an accessible height. There is one accessible toilet in the barn, and a stairlift to the upstairs barn area.

KITCHEN AND DINING: There is level access from the outside terrace into the dining room, and a ramp into the narrow galley-kitchen area. Door width from the terrace into the dining room is 78cm, and into the kitchen from ramp 78cm. The kitchen width is 97cm counter to counter.

COOKING: Writers take it in turns to jointly prepare meals. If you are unable to do this, you will get the opportunity to remove yourself from the rota when you book or contact us on the dedicated access email or phone number. If you would like to join in but are worried about standing for long periods, staff will make sure you are comfortable/seated so you do not miss out on the experience. The kitchen is narrow, all worktops are at standard height. There are base and wall cupboards.

DINING: There is a range of bench seating and chairs in the dining area.

BEDROOMS: There is 1 level access en-suite bedroom – the Log Shed. It has a full wet-room with a shower chair available. There is an adjustable writing desk. The Log Shed door is 73.5cm wide.

OUTSIDE: There is no designated car park. If you have a mobility impairment, we can allocate you a space in the courtyard (1 place per course). Others are asked to park at the top of a long steep lane and make their way on foot to the house. There is a level access terrace that leads into the Dining Room. Seating is available on the terrace.

TRAIN STATION: The nearest accessible station is Hebden Bridge with lift access between platforms. We can book a taxi to meet you on request – you will get the chance to do this when you book, or email us on access@arvon.org

THE GROUNDS: Cobbled and paved paths surround the house, with some sloped areas. The paving is uneven in places. The main gate area is gravelled. There are steps down into the Kitchen Garden. There is some seating and picnic benches scattered around. There are lots of pretty walks nearby to exercise support dogs, but due to our position on the valley side the paths tend to be steep.

Totleigh Barton Access

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Regretfully, we cannot currently recommend this house if you are a wheelchair user. Totleigh Barton is a sixteenth-Century manor house with many steps and tight corners. In the future we hope to redevelop the house to provide level access. Please see above for more information on The Hurst, which is fully wheelchair accessible throughout.

ACCESSIBLE ENSUITE ROOM: This is our only ensuite room, with an accessible wet room fitted with a washbasin, shower, and toilet. There are twin single beds to enable a care assistant to attend, and the room is on the ground floor of the outside buildings. Door width into the room is 82cm/32.3in.

ASSISTANCE DOGS: Assistance dogs are welcome. We will provide a water bowl outside the kitchen which will be refilled regularly. All other dogs are not permitted.

SHARED SPACES: There is one large step down into the sitting room, and a shallow ramp without rails, across a ditch into the barn (often used as a workshop space). The barn has an induction loop, and other devices are available to assist people with impaired hearing. Door width from the hall into the sitting room is 83cm/32.5in. The door width from the hall into the downstairs toilet is 80cm/31in. Door handles, light switches and power sockets are at various heights.

TOILET: There are two non-accessible downstairs toilets in the house.

KITCHEN AND DINING: There is one step and a tight entrance into the kitchen, but there is level access from the kitchen into the dining room. There is a level change from the dining room into the hallway. The outer kitchen door width is 79cm/31in, and the inner kitchen door width is 88cm/34 in. Door width from the kitchen into the dining room is 100cm/39in, and the door width from the dining room into the hall is 90cm/35in.

COOKING: Writers take it in turns to jointly prepare meals. If you are unable to do this, it is not a problem, and you can let us know on access@arvon.org or 0204 529 4970. All work surfaces are a standard height, but lower tables can be provided. There are base cupboards with utensils, crockery and other supplies at an accessible height. We have a portable step for those with restricted height to access worktops etc. Dining seating is benches with some chairs available.

OUTSIDE: There is a gravel car park. A path runs from the car park to the main entrance into the kitchen.

TRAIN STATION: Okehampton, which is a half hour drive away. The station has step free access, but no staff help or wheelchairs available. Exeter St. David’s does offer both and is an hour drive away. As Totleigh Barton is so rural, taxis must be booked in advance. You will get the opportunity when you book to ask Arvon to do this on your behalf.

THE GROUNDS: These are accessed through two entrances, both through archways. In the front garden the paths are not level. The general path through the grounds is maintained grass. It circles a pond and several benches, a writing pod, with one step at the entrance, and a summer house. There is a bench within 3 metres of the kitchen door, which can be moved closer if needed.

MOBILE SIGNAL AND WIFI: Totleigh Barton has very limited mobile signal and WiFi is only available close to the office. There is a payphone in the house and we encourage you to circulate both the payphone and office number to family and friends.

The Clockhouse Access

This is a building set in the grounds of the Hurst with four apartments. Each apartment has a bedroom, bathroom, and study-lounge. All food is provided, so you can focus entirely on your writing and relaxing.  

PHYSICAL ACCESS: The Clockhouse has level access throughout the building. All door frames measure the required 825mm, all with door handles at accessible heights.  Power sockets are placed at 500mm from the floor.  There is a shared cosy living room with wood-burner stove. There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor. 

KITCHEN/DINER  : There is a shared kitchen diner on the ground floor. You are welcome to help yourself to food at any time. Meals are provided. All work surfaces are a standard height, but lower tables can be provided.  There are base cupboards with utensils, crockery and other supplies at an accessible height.  We have a portable step for those with restricted height to reach work surfaces etc. For dining, we have a range of seating, benches and chairs. If you want to ensure that a particular type of chair is available, i.e. a chair with arms, please contact us on our dedicated access email or phone number.     

LIFT: There is a three-person lift which can take one wheelchair user with one standing person. 

APARTMENTS : There is one fully accessible apartment for wheelchair users on the first floor, The Mary Webb apartment with ensuite wetroom.   

FIRE SAFETY: The Collection points are in the carpark, which is accessible from both lower and upper levels.  

NEAREST TRAIN STATION: The nearest train station is Craven Arms 8.5 miles. Both platforms are accessible but need to be approached from different roads. Taxi drivers will need to be told ahead of arrival which platform you are arriving on. We have phone numbers of accessible taxis and can organise this on your behalf. You can request this on the booking form or contact us through the dedicated Email or phone number.  

OUTSIDE : The main entrance is accessible from the car park.  There is a level patio area. 

GROUNDS: There are lovely parklands around the Clockhouse. Some of the pathways have level access and hard surfaces. There are some slopes.  There is also some seating situated along the pathways. 

House Tours

Contact us

If you have access needs or general questions and concerns, please email access@arvon.org or call 0204 529 4970. We're happy to help.