Changing Places celebrates 250th milestone
Wednesday 09 March 2011
Zoo opens 250th Changing Places toilet
A new Changing Places toilet at Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire has marked the 250th location - and the first zoological park - to install a facility in the United Kingdom. The number of Changing Places toilets, which cater for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and complex health needs, has grown significantly since the Changing Places Consortium launched in 2006.
Changing Places toilets should be provided in addition to standard disabled toilets to meet the needs of the estimated 250,000 people in the UK whose toileting needs are not currently being met. A Changing Places toilet is larger than a standard disabled toilet with enough room for at least two carers and comes equipped with a centrally placed toilet, an adjustable changing bench and ceiling hoist.
Hampshire Parent Forum chair Ray Daniel campaigned for the toilet at Marwell. Ray, who has a 15-year-old son with cerebral palsy, said: "For us as a family, a Changing Places facility means that we can be out for longer than four hours, and spend a whole day at the zoological park. I found Marwell Wildlife very receptive to the need for a Changing Places toilet and I am very impressed with the speed and enthusiasm that has led to this great facility."
James Cretney, Marwell Wildlife's chief executive said: "At Marwell Wildlife we take inclusion seriously and pride ourselves as being an accessible regional tourist attraction. I very much hope that our new Changing Places facility will now allow a wider group of guests, who may have been unable to enjoy a visit to Marwell, to now come and enjoy the park. We are especially grateful to The Aiming High team at Hampshire County Council whose capital fund financed this project."
Beverley Dawkins OBE, Mencap's national officer for profound and multiple learning disabilities and co-chair of the Changing Places consortium said: "The impact of a Changing Places toilet on the quality of life for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities is significant. Without access to Changing Places toilets carers are often forced to change family members on a dirty toilet floor with little or no privacy. The alternative is to limit outings to a couple of hours or to not go out at all.
"We have achieved great strides in this campaign since it launched however there are many more facilities still needed. The Changing Places consortium will continue to lobby for more facilities across the UK to cater for the needs of our most vulnerable citizens."
The Changing Places consortium comprises Mencap, PAMIS, Centre for Accessible Environment, Nottingham City Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, Valuing People Support Team and the Scottish Government. The Changing Places campaign is sponsored by Total Hygiene.
The Changing Places consortium has been successful in securing Changing Places toilets to be included in venues for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The consortium will continue to lobby for the facilities to be installed in all large public places and the government has announced that they will formally consider including Changing Places toilets in the new building regulations due for amendment in 2013.
To find out where you can find a Changing Places facility visit http://www.changing-places.org.uk/
For further information, photographs or to arrange an interview contact Jessica Strudwick on 020 7696 6950 email firstname.lastname@example.org or 07770 656 659 if calling out of hours.
Notes to editors
- About Changing Places
Groups who need Changing Places toilets are people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and older people affected by incontinence.
- About Mencap
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
We are also one of the largest service providers of services, information and advice for people with a learning disability across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. People with a learning disability and their carers can find out more about our services by calling Mencap Direct on 0300 333 111 or by visiting www.mencap.org.uk.
- About learning disability
A learning disability is caused by the way the brain develops before, during or shortly after birth. It is always lifelong and affects someone's intellectual and social development. It used to be called mental handicap but this term is outdated and offensive. Learning disability is NOT a mental illness.
The term learning difficulty is often incorrectly used interchangeably with learning disability.
- About Total Hygiene
Total Hygiene sponsors the Changing Places campaign. The company has 50 years experience in delivering toileting solutions for less able people. Its Clos-o-Mat unit is the only unit of its type manufactured in the UK, the only one developed specifically for disabled, and the only one to carry WRAS approval enabling legal connection to the mains water supply.
- About Parent Voice and the Parent Forum
Parent Voice is a network of parents and carers of children with disabilities in Hampshire. We provide information and advice about activities, events, changes in services, entitlements, and signposting to local agencies. The parent forum is a representative body of parents from across the County providing a platform for the views of disabled children and their families. You can join the Parent Voice Network at www.parentvoice.info
- About Marwell Wildlife
Marwell Wildlife is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and other natural resources. Registered Charity Number: 275433.It is recognised internationally for initiating and delivering successful species and habitat conservation programmes in the UK and Africa, including reintroducing threatened species in the Sahara, restoring habitats in the south of England and running community based projects in Northern Kenya.
Marwell's zoological park in Hampshire provides a great way for families to enjoy the wonders of nature close-up, whilst involving them in Marwell's efforts to conserve endangered species and habitats, both locally and internationally. By providing people with a rich and memorable experience, Marwell aims to inspire people to help secure a better future for endangered wildlife for generations to come. For more information visit http://www.marwell.org.uk/