Changing Places at the Apex of Cultural Quarter

Leicester’s new Cultural Quarter will be truly open to all to enjoy, through an initiative by Apex Works.

The organisation has developed Apex House, in the heart of the Cultural Quarter, into a community hub to complement its work helping people who face extra barriers get training and jobs. A key part of the new development is the inclusion of a Changing Places toilet, provided in partnership with Leicester City Council. Open to be used by anyone with disabilities who is visiting the city centre, the toilet facility also provides Apex Works with an appropriate facility to help prepare its service users who want to work in the care sector.

The equipment for the room has been supplied and installed by Total Hygiene, the UK’s leading disabled toilet provider and sponsor of the Changing Places campaign for the special accessible toilets. Larger than a standard ‘disabled toilet’, a Changing Places facility also includes relevant equipment for people who need the help of at least one carer – a height adjustable changing bench and hoist.

To optimize the facility’s use, Apex Works has further incorporated a Closomat ‘wash and dry’ toilet: looking like a conventional WC, the Closomat can be used as such, but can also wash and dry the user instead of them, or their carer, having to wipe clean with toilet tissue, thus improving hygiene, dignity and independence.

Gaynor Quilter, Apex Works Chief Executive, commented,

Our Changing Places toilet is the only one of its kind in the area. We see the new Changing Places toilet as a valuable and vital facility for people with disabilities who come into the city centre. It gives disabled people and their carers a safe, spacious facility with the right equipment. Providing these toilets makes a dramatic difference to the lives of people who need them, enabling them to go out and enjoy the things other people take for granted.

Under BS8300: 2009 it is ‘good practice’ to provide a Changing Places toilet in any building to which numbers of the public have access, be it a new build or a refurbishment or upgrade programme, in addition to standard accessible toilets. Since the Changing Places campaign began over 450 Changing Places toilets have been opened across the UK. In the last year alone, over 50 Changing Places toilets have been opened at venues across the country.