Sheffield’s biggest leisure provider has announced it is reopening – but Ponds Forge will remain closed and 300 jobs are at risk of redundancy.
New research by the Changing Places Consortium reveals that just 12 railway stations in the UK have a Changing Places toilet. That means that disabled people face the choice of not going out, not using trains or lying down on dirty toilet floors to be changed.
Fully accessible toilets needed by more than a quarter of a million people across the UK should be available in every town, says the Changing Places Consortium, and yet Salford, Luton and Basildon are the UK’s biggest towns and cities that are yet to register one.
Changing Places toilets are bigger than standard accessible ones, and are used by people with severe disabilities, including children and adults with muscle-wasting conditions, cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease, and multiple sclerosis.
To mark Changing Places Awareness Day on 19 July, the Changing Places Consortium has carried out research on the facilities registered across the UK. It has found:
- Out of more than 2,500 train stations in the UK, just 12 have a registered Changing Places toilet – less than 0.5%
- Only 17 pubs, restaurants or cafés across the whole UK have registered Changing Places toilets
Having access to Changing Places toilets increases independence and improves quality of life. When venues such as railway stations, restaurants, pubs and cafés do not have any facilities, it can leave disabled people isolated, forcing them to consider options as extreme as surgery or not leaving the house, and making a day out with friends or getting to work a challenge.
Five years after launching the first Baby Changing Room Awards and sponsoring the National Childbirth Trust Baby Change App, Britain’s leading nappy cream brand Sudocrem is once again pioneering the way with a new category to recognise the importance of Changing Places toilets for disabled children.
There are 800,000 disabled children in the UK but only 1058 Changing Places toilets to meet their needs. This means that parents like Laura Rutherford, whose son Brody, 5, suffers from GDD, epilepsy, hypermobility and hypotonia, is forced to change her son on a toilet floor. “Life beyond a baby changing table when your child is doubly incontinent means constant exclusions when you go out as a family. It’s heart breaking for us as parents and this is an issue that will sadly become harder and harder as he grows up. He is different not less. Time for change.”
Source: CHANGING ROOMS FOR EVERYONE