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Government funding for Changing Places: where next?

RamsgateNHS Trusts, motorway services: where next?

royal pavilionThat’s the question being posed to Changing Places users as the new decade sees continuing Government commitment to making your daily life a little easier.

In the past year alone, funding for potentially more than 250 additional Changing Places toilets has been allocated. 

The Government has set aside £2million for motorway services to add Changing Places, and a similar sum for NHS Trusts. 

The budget has seen the announcement of a £30million Changing Places Fund.

On the basis that the average Changing Places costs £15000 to install (assuming an appropriate room and services are already in place), that equates to 266 Changing Places! That is almost 20% more than we already have, and in places where they are sorely needed.

The Government commitment is alongside continued investment by, among others:

-       Tesco

  • IKEA 
  • JD Wetherspoon 

-       Merlin Group (Alton Towers etc)

We all need to travel. We all need to visit hospital. The link for each of those sector’s application form  for Government funding is here:

For NHS trusts:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changing-places-toilets-in-nhs-hospitals-apply-for-funding

for motorway services:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/more-service-stations-to-become-fully-accessible-as-government-fund-opens

moto southwaite externalWhere else would you really like to see Changing Places supported? 

Inevitably it comes down to you to make it known where you want Changing Places.

So many venues either do not know there is a local need for a Changing Places, or do not know the facility even exists. As potential users, your story will mean much more to them, than being pitched to by an organisation or company.  

The head of Ullapool Harbour Trust, Kevin Peach, explains it beautifully from a provider’s point of view:

“I listened with heavy heart to a radio show highlighting the daily misery that parents and carers have to face trying to find suitable toilets. We had to do what we could to improve the lot of people with profound disabilities.”

Likewise Tim Gimbert, operations director @ Cadbury World when talking to fellow guests at a party and asking if they had visited the attraction:

On this occasion I met with a very blunt response, “No, we can’t. Our daughter has a physical disability and therefore requires space and a hoist to be able to use the toilet. We can’t visit because she has nowhere to go to the toilet”.

Tim is a great champion for the cause. He adds: 

“If you do not have CP toilets how you could possibly know how many people would use them as those that require the facility simply cannot visit those venues. In my opinion, it should be law that attractions and venues have a Changing Places installed and thus make themselves accessible to those that need the facility.”

More Changing Places = more visitors, customers

How can they know how many people WOULD come if they could? And, as campaigner Rachel George regularly proves, where she and her family, especially son Adam go, they usually bring additional friends along too. So the venue adapts to include Adam, but actually gains several more visitors- and their money- as a result.

So, next time you think about going somewhere but change your mind because there isn’t a suitable loo, maybe DO go, and ask. What’s the worst they can happen- they say no. 

As the adages go:

“if you don’t ask you don’t get”   

“nothing ventured, nothing gained”


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