YMCA showcases commitment to inclusivity

ONE OF THEWORLD’S most famous organizations, encouraging young people to make the most of life, is reinforcing its commitment to the cause with the opening of a new, inclusive facility in ‘an area of deprivation’.

The Showroom in Lincoln is a £5m centre for young people aged between 11 and 25 , developed and managed by YMCA as a Myplace facility, a national programme funded by Big Lottery and Every Child Matters. Described as ‘world class’ the centre not only provides what is believed to be an unrivalled caliber of activity, entertainment and support, but in being possibly the first centre of its kind to include a ‘Changing Places’ toilet.

Designed and installed by Total Hygiene (sponsor of the Changing Places, Changing Lives campaign), the ‘Changing Places’ toilet optimizes the Showroom’s accessibility, enabling even the most profoundly disabled youngster, who needs the help of at least one carer, to enjoy the facilities and undertake basic personal hygiene whilst there.

A ‘Changing Places’ toilet is larger than a conventional accessible toilet, enabling easy access and maneouvring of a wheelchair by at least one carer, and includes additional equipment to aid optimum hygiene and cleanliness, such as a hoist, height adjustable changing bench, wash basin, and privacy screen. The Showroom installation further includes a Closomat- a toilet developed specifically for the disabled, by Total Hygiene, which incorporates integral douche and drier, thus cleaning the user after toileting without the need for a carer to manually cleanse with toilet tissue, enhancing the user’s privacy and dignity.

Lyndsey Hannam of YMCA Lincoln explains,

The Showroom is located in a converted car showroom, hence the name, and aims to provide a range of opportunities to enable young YMCA showcases commitment to inclusivity people in the locality, acknowledged as an area of deprivation, to become all that they can, developing their skills and talents, and supporting them. It is a world class facility, with Lincolnshire’s biggest climbing wall, an astro cage, bowling alley, restaurant and interactive Pulse walls, plus studios for dance and fitness, and an adjoining conference and business centre with WiFi access.
It seemed necessary to us to include a ‘Changing Places toilet within the Showroom, as we are encouraging inclusivity and engagement from as many young people as possible, and wanted to ensure those with disabilities felt able to take part in our activities.

Added Robin Tuffley, Total Hygiene marketing manager,

Most people forget how a simple thing like going to the toilet can impact on anyone who needs help to undertake this basic activity, yet it is something we all do, and on average eight times a day! With our half-century of providing practical toileting solutions for disabled people, we understand the issues they face, and how important it is to be able to access appropriate toilet facilities when away from home.

‘Changing Places’ toilets have been developed by the ‘Changing Places Changing Lives consortium, to enable people with a disability to ‘go to the loo’ in a clean and safe environment when out. To date, the campaign has seen almost 250 Changing Places toilets installed across the UK. Campaign sponsor Total Hygiene is the UK’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions, with over 40,000 of its brand-leading Closomat wash and dry toilets installed across the UK, in people’s homes and venues as diverse as shopping centres, visitor attractions and even on a tall ship.