The UK Government is set to provide £30 million in investments to install life-enhancing Changing Places toilets in existing buildings across England.
The news means more than 250,000 disabled people in England will benefit from greater access to Changing Places toilets, allowing independence and using a bathroom with dignity. Funding will also be beneficial for families and carers supporting a disabled person.
Announced today (4 March), the move follows a change to statutory guidance which came into effect in January 2021, which will see Changing Places toilets compulsory in certain new buildings.
Speaking of the announcement, Regional Growth Minister Luke Hall MP, said: “For too long, the lack of suitable toilet facilities has meant disabled people have faced major difficulties when they shop, go out, or travel and this should not be the case.
“That’s why the provision of Changing Places toilets is so important for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.”
In partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK – co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium, who will provide advice to support councils in their delivery – the programme will be incredibly beneficial for the disabled community.
Of the news, Kerry Thompson, Changing Places campaigner said: “Knowing I have access to a Changing Places toilet lets me enjoy myself without having to worry about finding an accessible facility that can accommodate my needs.
The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of the over 250,000 people across the UK who cannot use standard accessible toilets.
This includes people with muscle-wasting conditions, profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.
Through campaigning, more awareness of Changing Places toilets has been raised with significant steps forward.
In July of last year, the Department for Transport and Muscular Dystrophy UK announced £127m funding to install a further 37 more Changing Places toilets at service stations; taking the total of Changing Places toilets at service stations to 87 of 118.
The latest news is another move in the right direction.
“This programme is a significant investment from government that will help bring major, life enhancing freedoms to those people who have specific needs,” added Luke Hall, MP.
To register an interest in participating in Muscular Dystrophy UK’s consultation or focus groups please email firstname.lastname@example.org