Applications for Changing Places £30 million funding pot now open with councils urged to apply

Councils are now being urged to apply for a share of a £30 million funding pot to install Changing Places Toilets in public places and tourist attractions.

Changing Places are vital for many members of the disabled community, allowing them to comfortably and confidently go out into the community and complete daily tasks that many people take for granted, for example going to the supermarket.

ESSENTIAL

At present there are 1,200 registered Changing Places in England with plans for more in place.

Recently, it was announced that all new buildings will be required to have Changing Places facilities. Over 250,000 people in the country need these facilities.

“I have a disabled daughter who is a wheelchair user, and she’s nonverbal, which means that she can’t actually tell us when she needs to go to the toilet,” explains Changing Places campaigner, Lorna Fillingham. 

“Changing Places Toilets with an adult changing table, hoist and toilet are therefore a lifeline to us to have a family day out. Without these types of special facilities disabled children are having to be changed on public toilet floors or in the back of cars.  

“In the 21st century nobody should be isolated in their homes because of a lack of an accessible toilet in their community, and nobody should have to be laid on the public floor.”

PROVISIONS

Research conducted by Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, also published today, demonstrates that the top three places where people currently use and value CPTs are shops, hospitals, and tourist attractions.  

Users, their families, and carers would like to see future provision in areas enabling them to ‘have a day out’ and undertake more recreational activities with dignity, confidence, and freedom. 

COUNCIL

Councils will be invited to complete a short expression of interest to receive a proportion of this funding. 

“We currently have 42 CPTs half of which are in Leeds City Council buildings or Parks and which we maintain,” shares Bairbre McKendrick, access officer at Leeds City Council.

“After 10 years we still have more sites where a CPT would really be beneficial to families and individuals who use them. We are keen to install a CPT at Kirkstall Abbey – our 800-year-old Cistercian Abbey which is a big tourist attraction and hosts music events in the Summer. 

“Our advice to other local authorities is not to be hesitant and apply for this funding, as users will be delighted to have new CPTs and will defiantly use them. Your city and towns will benefit from CPTs and the freedom they can offer to people who need them.” 

They are encouraged to consider where Changing Places Toilets are most needed in their communities and are encouraged to work in partnership with other organisations to deliver these facilities, including securing match funding wherever possible.  

Expressions of interest must be submitted by 26 September 2021 – to apply for funding please click here