- In 2015 17 of the current premier league clubs signed a promise to have fully accessible Changing Places toilets by August 2017 [i].
- 13 clubs fail to meet this promise, with Crystal Place & Chelsea FC the worst offenders according to Mencap’s ‘Toilet League Table'.
- Just 2 hours of Eden Hazard’s weekly salary could buy a Changing Places toilet; preventing many disabled fans from being changed on dirty toilet floors.
The ‘Toilet League Table’ looks at how many clubs have installed Changing Places toilets, following a 2015 accessibility pledge signed by 17 of the current premier league clubs, which promised to see Changing Places toilets, the recommended industry standard, installed in all Premier League club grounds by August 2017.
With just months to the deadline only 7 clubs have installed Changing Places toilets; with just 5 registering these toilets to ensure the public are aware of them.
Changing Places facilities are vital for over ¼ million people who have severe disabilities and require more space and additional equipment than a standard disabled toilet provides. Without them many people with a severe disability are faced with a choice of not going out or being changed on a toilet floor.
The average Changing Places toilet can be provided for £10,000, or:
- 2 hours of Eden Hazard’s weekly salary [i]
- 16 ½ Crystal Palace season tickets [ii]
- the cost of Tottenham’s new stadium could buy 80,000 Changing Places [iii].
Mencap’s Toilet League Table offers a snapshot of the work Premier League clubs have been doing to make their grounds accessible to all fans. Liverpool FC topped the table, while Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Tottenham all face ‘relegation’.
Mencap, which is part of the Changing Places Consortium is calling on all Premier League clubs to honour the promise they made in 2015 and ensure football is accessible for all fans by installing Changing Places toilets by the end of 2017.
Luke Nash, a 17 year old Leicester City fan who successfully campaigned for Leicester FC to install Changing Places toilets said:
“I don’t think all football clubs really think about how difficult it is for people like me to go to the toilet in their grounds. It’s often really tight and there isn’t space to be changed so you have to lie on the floor of a public bathroom, trying not to hit your head or think about the dirty floor you’re lying on. Installing a Changing Places toilet so fans don’t have to lie on the floor of the loo is an easy thing to do.
“I campaigned for my football club Leicester FC to install a Changing Places toilet and having one in the stadium makes a big difference to me and other fans with a disability. I’m a season ticket holder and it’s good to know that I can go to matches whenever I want without needing to worry, I’m proud that my team cares about all their fans.
“To the other Premier League teams that are yet to install a Changing Place toilet I want to say, look at Leicester, look at what they have done and the difference it has made to fans, if they can do it so can you.”
Clare Lucas, Mencap Activism Manger said:
“It’s inexcusable for over half of the Premier League to be without fully accessible toilets for all disabled fans. Nobody wants to leave a game halfway through to go home just to use the toilet, but without a Changing Places facility the only other option is the degrading experience of being changed on what may be a dirty, unhygienic toilet floor. This is not a choice anyone should have to make.
“We are nearing the 2017 deadline for the accessibility promise that 17 of the current Premier League teams signed up to yet many are no closer to fulfilling that pledge than they were in 2015. For such big clubs there is simply no excuse. They have the space and the money to install Changing Places or at least temporary Changing Places solutions like Mobiloos’, for teams expecting to move stadiums.
It’s time for these clubs to step up and support their disabled fans, as they support their team, so that everyone can enjoy watching their team play.”
Toilet League Table
The Toilet League Table was ranked by:
- number of Changing Places facilities in a stadium
- date of instalment
- If the Changing Places toilet had been publically registered.
- If a club has confirmed plans with Changing Places to install by August 2017 (those highlighted as confirmed do not include clubs who are currently discussing installation or plan to install after the Aug 2017 cut-off date)
- Number of wheelchair seating available (information from the Improving Disabled Access in Premier League Stadia, Interim Report 2017)
In 2015 17 of the current Premier League clubs promised to ensure their stadium’s met with the Accessible Stadia Guide by August 2017. This promise (ASG PDF page 67) included meeting with guidelines on toilets laid out in the British Standard 8300, which states that all stadiums should provide a Changing Places toilets. To date only 7 teams have met with these guidelines.
There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, 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.
For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email email@example.com
About Changing Places
- A Changing Places toilet is a fully accessible toilet with the following additional equipment: a height-adjustable changing bench, an overhead track or mobile hoist; a peninsular toilet, privacy screen and enough space for up to two carers as detailed in British Standard BS800: 2009. These toilets should be provided in addition to standard accessible toilets.
- Research commissioned by Mencap highlights that 230,000 people in the UK need assistance to toilet and/or change continence pads. Users include people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and people with a range of other disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neurone disease, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, some older people and other specific disabilities. Our estimation of up to a quarter of a million users will increase in the future. For some groups the prevalence of individuals will increase, e.g. people with intellectual disabilities and people of advanced age, increasing the need for and relevance of Changing Places toilets.
- The Changing Places consortium comprises Mencap, PAMIS, Centre for Accessible Environments, Nottingham City Council, Dumfries & Galloway Council, and the Scottish Government. The Changing Places campaign supports the rights of people with profound and multiple learning, and/or other physical disabilities, to access their community. Without Changing Places toilets, carers are forced to change their loved ones on toilet floors or have to stay at home. For information and advice on changing places facilities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland email, ChangingPlaces@mencap.org.uk, for Scotland email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life.
People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.
Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.