Changing Places launch brand new map for World Toilet Day 2015

Caroline and Thomas

Caroline and Thomas

Need to find your nearest fully accessible toilet? Changing Places launch brand new map for World Toilet Day 2015 with support of campaigner mum Caroline Mumford

Changing Places, the campaign for fully accessible toilets to be installed in public places, will launch their new map on World Toilet Day (Thursday 19 November), showing the location of all Changing Places toilets for the 250,000 people nationwide who need these facilities, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

World Toilet Day is a World Health Organization initiative and draws global attention to the sanitation crisis, highlighting the importance of high standard toilet facilities.

The UK is a world leader in provision of specialised toilets designed for people whose toilet needs are not met by standard accessible toilets, with over 770 available across the UK. The web based map will feature all of these facilities, making the lives of people with a disability and their families and carers much simpler.

Caroline Mumford, Changing Places campaigner and mother of Thomas, who is 7 and has cerebral palsy, said: 

‘As the parent of a child with a disability, I am thrilled by the announcement of a new Changing Places map. I successfully campaigned alongside the Council and local charity SNAAP for a Changing Place to be opened in Whitstable, which will be featured on the map. It will be a great source of information and encouragement to people thinking of visiting the town.

‘My son Thomas loves being out and about, so this will also be incredibly helpful in planning trips and days out. Organising days out can be very stressful when you have to consider the needs of a loved one with a disability. Prior to the Changing Places opening at Whitstable Harbour, I had to change Thomas on a dirty toilet floor or be forced to go home, which was frustrating considering the needs of my younger daughter too.  These facilities are absolutely essential for my family. ’

Leroy Binns, Mencap employee and Changing Places champion said: 

As somebody with a learning disability, I understand how important it is to know that suitable facilities will be available when going out and about. The new map is a great idea and will help families and carers when planning a day out. Without Changing Places facilities, people with profound and multiple disabilities would have to choose between being changed on a dirty toilet floor, or not going out at all. This isn’t fair and is a barrier to them being included within their own community.’

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has been working with the Changing Places Consortium to improve quality of life and opportunity for severely disabled people, their carers and families by supporting improved provision of Changing Places Toilets. To ensure people get the most from these important facilities, DCLG and the Devolved Administrations have grant funded the Changing Places consortium and the British Toilet Association to develop a web application which will transform the way people find and use Changing Places.

James Wharton, the DCLG Minister responsible for Building Regulations said:

“For adults and children whose needs are not met by standard provision and for their family and carers, the availability of Changing Places facilities will help them to be active in their local communities. Since 2007 the number of Changing Places facilities has gone up more than fivefold to 750. Now the government is going further, working with the Changing Places Campaign, PAMIS, Mencap and the British Toilet Association to make Changing Places toilets easy to find through the website launched today.”

Changing Places toilets are larger than a standard disabled toilet and include a height-adjustable bench, a hoist and room for a wheelchair and up to two carers.

You can find the new Changing Places map here: www.changingplacesmap.org.uk

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