I was amazed and impressed to be contacted by a small monkey sanctuary, Wild Futures.
The difference here?
Without being directly asked, they just heard through social media that there are people who cannot go out much simply because regular “disabled toilets” were no use to them.
They heard that people needed something more to enable them to go out, so they got in touch to find out more! Did you hear that #LandsEnd-landmark? Without being asked a small charity with relatively little land and little income, one which exists just to look after monkeys, cares enough about all people to want to try to be more accessible. I am discovering more and more people for whom a typical disabled toilet does not work for. These people don’t need the hoist or the bench but they do need to turn a wheelchair, close the door and be able to get from their chair to the toilet. I don’t know if they will find a way. I have no idea what size their current facilities are. I wouldn’t know as we have not been able to go. Wild Futures did not know what was needed because nobody had told them before. Yet somehow, we are all learning from each other and keen to help make life better. I am particularly impressed to learn that Wild Futures does not have an active breeding programme. They believe that the focus should be on keeping monkeys in the wild, where they belong and do the best they can for those monkeys who will never be able to return to the wild and those who don’t even know that “the wild” exists.
I spotted this little chap on the Wild Futures website – Joey. Click on “Joey” and you will see why I had to adopt him for my own little miracle.
I hope that one day we will be able to visit Joey. I have every faith that, if there is a way, Wild Futures will find it. I also hope that many other places will start to realise that, not only is it the right thing to do, not only is it the law that reasonable adjustments must be made (do you consider it a reasonable expectation that you can use a toilet on a day out) but it also makes excellent business sense to ensure that people with disabilities can visit too.
The “purple pound”, as it is known, is a market now worth £12.4bn to England’s tourism industry. How many organisations are missing out?