Events venue open to all…

The NEC, the UK’s largest exhibition and events venue is now truly open to all, through investment in a new toilet!

The National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham has unveiled its new Changing Places accessible toilet, in the main Hall 20 Atrium – the area where the country’s biggest disability event, Naidex, is held, and which is accessible to all shows and events held in Halls 6 through to 20.

Supplied and installed by leading disabled toileting solutions provider Total Hygiene, the toilet is the result of an accessibility audit, which highlighted the need for the resource. Larger than a standard accessible (disabled) toilet, a Changing Places facility has more space, to enable a wheelchair user and their carer to manoeuvre with ease, plus equipment including a height adjustable adult sized changing bench and hoist.

The NEC has chosen to further extend functionality of the room by replacing the standard WC with a Closomat wash and dry (automatic) toilet, with additional optional touch-sensitive switch, manufactured in the UK, by Total Hygiene. Looking like, and capable of being used as, a conventional WC, the Closomat has in-built douching and drying facilities. As a result, there is no need for manual cleansing with tissue by either the user or their carer, optimising dignity, independence and hygiene.

The touch sensitive switch further contributes to independence as people with little manual or body strength can still operate the toilet.

The NEC is continuously looking to improve facilities for our customers to ensure we remain their venue of choice, said Kathryn James, NEC Managing Director. The need for a Changing Places toilet was highlighted during an accessibility audit and as a result of customer feedback, and we felt it would be of invaluable benefit for some of our customers. Based on the dwell time within the NEC, it’s important for customers to be able to relax and enjoy our facilities knowing there’s an appropriate environment for their personal hygiene. We already have a Closomat in a conventional disabled toilet, and felt the extra functionality it offers would be of benefit in the Changing Places toilet.

Since the Changing Places campaign began, over 450 have been opened at venues open to the public across the UK. Under the new Building Regulations Approved Document M, it is now ‘desirable’ to include such a facility in new build or refurbishment/ upgrade projects for public venues. Total Hygiene is the UK’s biggest manufacturer and supplier of disabled toileting equipment and is also the only company to have in-house design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and servicing capability.