300 Changing Places toilets
Thursday 21 July 2011
Campaign success for fully accessible toilets
There are now 300 registered Changing Places toilets in the UK – a major achievement in the campaign to get fully accessible toilets installed in big public places.
On Tuesday 19 July, a Changing Places toilet was opened to the public at the Museum of Liverpool – the 300th facility in the UK.
Standard disabled toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability or their carers. Changing Places toilets have extra features and more space to allow people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), and other complex disabilities, the chance to use toilets in a comfortable and clean environment.
The milestone figure follows a number of recent successes for the campaign, which is run by the Changing Places Consortium and sponsored by Total Hygiene – just four months ago, there were only 250 registered Changing Places toilets.
On Monday 18 July, television actor Julie Fernandez , who uses a wheelchair, opened a new Changing Places toilet in Peterborough town centre. Best known for her role as Brenda in ‘The Office’, Fernandez said: “I declare this throne open… This is more than just a toilet, this is freedom and dignity for the disabled people of Peterborough.”
Earlier this month, Richard Howard MEP opened two new Changing Places toilets in Brentwood, Essex. Another two will be opened in the town in the coming months, giving it four Changing Places toilets in total – many large towns still have no such facilities.
In May, a Changing Places toilet was opened at the Eden Project visitors’ centre in Cornwall (pictured). The toilet has a height-adjustable changing bench, a hoist, a shower and space for a disabled person and two carers.
Beverley Dawkins OBE, Mencap’s national officer for PMLD and co-chair of the Changing Places Consortium said: “The impact of a Changing Places toilet on the quality of life for people with PMLD is significant. We have achieved great strides in this campaign since it launched, however there are many more facilities still needed.”
Visit the Changing Places campaign website