Lets change this place

Changing%20Places%20logo%20JPEGThe following blog appears in a slightly shortened form in the Argus newspaper today as its opinion piece: The Changing Places campaign which is in its 11th year, focuses on the needs of quarter of a million people in the UK who cannot use standard sized accessible toilets due to their needs for assistance and in some cases for specific equipment. A few weeks ago a TV programme focused on the campaign and it chose Brighton as the location and a journey by a young person and her Mother to find a suitable toilet. Across the UK there are 918 such toilets, 20 of which are in Sussex. There are three toilets in Brighton and Hove, one at the Level, one at the seafront at the Colonnade on Madeira Drive and one at the Amex Stadium. Clearly this means we only have two that are easily accessible as the Amex Stadium is only open at certain times. The same is true across Sussex where some of these toilets are in buildings that are not open every day. It would be great to see more of these toilets created over the next few years, perhaps our Council leaders could see this as an important focus for the City to adopt? At present there are none in Hove and it would clearly be good to see one in the centre of the city, perhaps at the Mall or the Station or both? The campaign runs a useful website which is provided as a link above which provides information for campaigners wish to see their premises or areas made more accessible. The website explains about the Changing Places Consortium which campaigns for these toilet facilities on behalf of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people. The toilets are much larger than conventional accessible toilets and provide lifts and height adjustable changing benches. I had a privilege a year ago of meeting some of the campaigners and hearing about the various ways of laying out such facilities. It would be fantastic if Brighton and Hove which used to pride itself on being the Place to Be could become the place to visit for all people, and perhaps we could get a focus on Changing Places across Sussex as a whole and see the number of these facilities increased substantially!


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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