In a project costing £160k, the family-owned Marsham Court has become the first UK hotel to install a fully equipped Changing Places toilet.
The hotel, on Bournemouth’s East Cliff, also has a new sensory room, wheelchair lift into the hotel, laundry facilities, swimming pool hoist and two new accessible guest rooms with wet rooms, profiling beds and removable ceiling hoists.
According to the national Changing Places Consortium, which campaigns for more Changing Places toilets, an estimated 250,000 people, children and adults in the UK would benefit from the use of a Changing Places toilet. The specialist toilets include a hoist, an adult-size changing bench and generous space for a disabled person and up to two carers.
Yet, as of 2020 there were just 1,500 in the UK – and just 16 in the whole of Dorset.
The Marsham Court Hotel secured a £70,000 grant from Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council’s post-covid Bounce Back Fund which it then more than doubled to create its raft of accessible facilities.
Rosie Radwell, whose family have owned the Marsham Court Hotel for over 30 years, says: “We are incredibly proud of our new facilities, which are already proving very popular with our guests and also the many local people who regularly enjoy the hotel as a place to meet work colleagues, attend events and spend time with friends and family.
“Accessibility and the way in which we cater for all our guests – including those who need carers for their personal needs – is vital and was made painfully clear to us when our mother was in the final stages of her battle with cancer.
“Sadly, for many people with additional needs, memorable holidays with their families seem impossible.”
“We want to make sure people can come to Bournemouth knowing their comfort and needs have been considered, from the toilets they use, to the bed they sleep in, to specialist laundry services they might require and even the chance to join their families in the poo,” adds Rosie.
The hotel is planning more accessible bedrooms with additional features in 2023 due to high demand.