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Cornish Pubs Urged To #ServeAlex After Cutty Sark Pub Discrimination

July 14, 2015

Same Difference has been sent this very important press release by the charity Changing Faces. We hope that it will make all Cornish pubs #ServeAlex. More importantly, we hope that it will make pubs and restaurants nationwide serve all disabled people without discrimination or embarrassment.

Cutty Sark pub alleged to have turned Alex Barker away after mistaking facial palsy for drunkenness – and refuses to apologise

A Coventry man who has a facial palsy and Moebius Syndrome was refused service at the weekend in what he says is a clear case of ‘facial discrimination’ – and Changing Faces is now asking local venues to say they’d be happy to ‘#ServeAlex’ on his next visit to Cornwall.

Alex Barker visited the Cutty Sark pub on Grove Place in Falmouth, Cornwall, on Saturday evening and despite only having had one bottle of beer, says he was told he wouldn’t be served as he was ‘under the influence’.

Incensed, he returned the following day to speak to the manager of the pub and to explain the reason for his appearance. “The manager was more interested in watching the tennis and refused to engage in conversation or apologise,” said Alex, who recorded a video of his experience on YouTube.

He told a BBC breakfast show this morning that he felt “a real sense of injustice. I’ve been disabled all my life and sometimes you just try to forget about it, but then you have experiences that really kick you where it hurts”. [Interview from 20:38]

“Cornwall’s beaches and stunning scenery attract more than four million visitors a year, and as many as 40,000 of these tourists will have a condition, mark or scar that affects their appearance,” said Dr James Partridge OBE, Chief Executive of Changing Faces, the national charity that supports and represents people who have conditions or injuries that affect their appearance.

Dr Partridge said that the pub had to ‘face up to its responsibilities’ and begin by apologising to Mr Barker. “The Equality Act offers protection to people with disfigurements, and it may be that the pub has breached that law. The pub’s management, and the wider hospitality and business community in Cornwall, have a responsibility to make sure that everyone is made to feel welcome.”

Changing Faces is encouraging venues across Cornwall to embrace ‘Face Equality’ and tweet to say that they’d be proud to #ServeAlex when he next visits the county. Three Falmouth venues have already committed to #ServeAlex.

Managers at the Cutty Sark pub have so far refused to comment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg4zPw7lihY

 

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