Who are the Changing Places Consortium?
The Changing Places Consortium is a group of organisations working to support the rights of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and/or other physical disabilities. Established in 2005, the Consortium campaigns for Changing Places to be installed in all big public spaces so people can access their community.
How the Changing Places Campaign began?
The Changing Places campaign was started by the late Loretto Lambe founder and CEO of PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society) a voluntary organisation based in Dundee who support parents of children and adults with profound and multiple disabilities (PMLD). In 2003 PAMIS produced a video showing how several parents have to change their son/daughter on dirty toilet floors ,or in the back of mobility vehicles. This video included an interview with Loretto and Lord Rix from Mencap setting out the problem.
PAMIS worked in partnership with Mencap who had appointed Beverley Dawkins as their National Officer for PMLD. Beverley was also supporting families with similar needs across the UK and whose parents had also highlighted major problems in away from home toilets.
In 2004 Martin Jackaman from Nottingham City Council had also realised this was a problem for Day services staff as well as parents and he set up a project team to design a toilet which the project team were targeting plans for the new public toilets due to open in July 2006.Using the video he successfully persuaded the Council to include the project team design in the Nottingham’s new city centre toilets.
Loretto Lambe, Beverley Dawkins OBE, Martin Jackaman, and Joyce Burns are pictured at the launch in 2006 with Alison Lapper, well know Artist and Disability campaigner who launched our campaign.
The Department of Health Valuing People Team was set up in 2001 to improve services by the Government and in 2005 the Team suggested bringing together PAMIS (Loretto Lambe and Joyce Burns Specialist Occupational Therapist ,MENCAP (Beverley Dawkins OBE), Martin Jackaman and Cally Ward (PMLD Lead from the Valuing People Team) to set up a Consortium to look at this issue across the UK.
With considerable help from the Mencap’s media design and campaigns team the Consortium created the campaign strategy, logo and website and officially launched the campaign at Tate Modern in July 2006 with the help of Alison Lapper MBE a highly respected Artist, and Disability campaigner.
Soon after the launch the Consortium was joined by Wai-Mei Chan from the Centre for Accessible Environments who provided much needed expertise in the area of Accessibility and Design and Sue Carmichael took Cally’s place as Department of Health rep. The Consortium was co chaired by Loretto (PAMIS) and Beverley (MENCAP) to ensure the campaign was rooted in parent led voluntary organisations with ongoing regular access to the parents directly affected by this social injustice and inequality. This enabled PAMIS and MENCAP to use their links to work with both the UK and Scottish Parliaments as some relevant legislation is different in Scotland.
In 2005 the Consortium began working work with Councils, shopping centres, airports, tourism sites and numerous leisure venues to establish the Changing Places across the UK.
In 2007 there were 30 Changing Places toilets all initiated by Consortium members all similar but with not one agreed layout so using the Nottingham layout as an initial design the Consortium began working with the British Standard to include a Changing Places toilet in BS 8300, with some minor changes this was finally approved in 2009.In addition the Consortium had been working with the Department of Communities who, in 2008, included Changing Places in their Strategic Guide to Public Toilet provision this led to us seeking to change Part M of the Building regulations and by 2013 there were further significant references Changing Places toilets being included in public toilets addition to the standard accessible toilets and referring people to the changing places website. Despite further discussion Government continues to refuse Changing Places toilets becoming a mandatory requirement.
In 2010 the Consortium secured sponsorship to fund a part-time development worker post, based at Mencap to coordinate the campaign ,develop the website, advise potential venues and grow a network of campaigners across the UK. This role was held by Mike Le-Surf until December 2016 and the current development officer is Joanne Connah who works alongside Julie Taylor from PAMIS to ensure the scheme is coordinated across the UK.
The members of the Consortium are:
Keep up to date...
You can follow what the Consortium is up to on Twitter: @cp_consortium