Arnold Fewell FIH, managing director of AVF Marketing and accessibility training company, AccessChamp, has died aged 67. After a bravely-fought cancer illness, Arnold passed away in the early hours of Thursday, 14 February 2019 supported by his loving family.
A former hotelier who became well-known and respected for his passion for transforming school meals, Arnold won many awards for his incredible achievements in the hospitality industry. This started in 1988 when he won the Industrial Caterer of the Year at The Cateys and in 2012 he was crowned the winner of the Special Award at the industry Oscars. He also helped clients to win Cateys in 2009, 2011 and 2012 including the Group Marketing Award with LACA. Arnold’s winning streak also included being given the EDUcatering Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
A life-changing accident in 2000 left Arnold a permanent wheelchair user. As a former hotel general manager, he was shocked at how hotels and restaurants looked after him and other disabled guests and wanted to drive changes that would help others for generations to come. He created AccessChamp to give disabled people a more enjoyable hotel experience and provide hoteliers with a share of this vast growth market. Arnold has run courses throughout the UK, as well as creating an online resource at www.accesschamp.co.uk. He was presented with the Catey Special Award in 2012 recognising an incredible career and a pioneering campaign which highlighted what the industry can do to improve accessibility.
Arnold’s wife and three daughters, Lynn, Karen, Nicola and Sarah aim to continue the amazing work that he has started on accessibility in his memory and will be running training courses and driving awareness in the hope they can create more Access Champs in the hospitality industry. More details of this initiative will be revealed over the coming months.
Paying tribute Peter Ducker FIH, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, said: “Arnold was one of those rare people who have a profound impact. Always upbeat whenever you met him, he harnessed adversity and used it to influence opinion and practice in many hospitality businesses. He helped many to become much more accessible, championing room layout and design, but, and this was the real game-changer, helping countless people through training to be more comfortable around disability and therefore more welcoming and understanding. Always great company to be with, Arnold will be missed by many.”
Karen Fewell, Arnold’s eldest daughter said: “As a family we are incredibly proud of all dad has achieved during his career and his passion and determination to improve services for disabled people has inspired so many. Throughout his illness, dad continued to work and has been so determined to make real changes in hospitality to improve experiences for others, despite his own health issues. Dad always said he wanted his legacy to be how he had made hospitality accessible for all and he has made some significant changes and brought accessibility higher up the agenda in this industry. However, there is so much work still to be done which is why as a family we’ll continue this journey. Dad helped us fall in love with the world of hospitality, just like he did, and we are so grateful for the love the industry has shown him.”
A celebration of Arnold’s life will be held over the coming weeks and all hospitality friends are welcome.
Please contact Karen@digitalblondemarketing.com for the details.