BorderLayoutBoxedLayoutOpenLayout Maximum textMedium textSmall text



23 July 2018

2017 Changing Places Year in Review

 

2017 has been an incredible year for the Changing Places toilet campaign, with amazing work going on across the UK. Over 150 new Changing Places toilets have been registered this year, including the 1000th Changing Places toilet opening in July. We now have 1,060 registered Changing Places toilets across the UK. With 2018 fast approaching, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the highlights from this year and give thanks to everyone who works so hard to make the Changing Places toilet campaign a success.

  

Petitions

Throughout the year, Zack Kerr has led an incredible campaign to get Changing Places toilets installed at all UK motorway service stations. His online petition has been signed by over 119,000 people and covered widely by national media including the BBC News. Zack was invited to London in November where his MP arranged a meeting with the Transport Minister as well as a tour of Parliament. Zack presented the petition to Paul Maynard MP and this has now been presented as an Early Day Motion supported by MPs. Zack and his family have worked incredibly hard and have done so much to raise awareness of the importance of Changing Places toilets. The reaction and support has been incredible which just shows how vital these facilities are to so many people.

As well as Zack’s incredible efforts, Mum On A Mission, Laura Moore, has been leading a petition to get a commitment from supermarkets to provide Changing Places toilet facilities in their stores within the next 18months. With over 126,000 signatures this petition is going from strength to strength, gathering 60,000 signatures in one day alone! Laura has been supporting other campaigners across the UK to raise awareness by contacting their local press and media outlets which has resulted in some fantastic media coverage about the importance of Changing Places toilets. A huge congratulations to everyone involved!

Lorna Fillingham’s petition calling on the government to make changes to building regulations to ensure that it is compulsory for Changing Places toilets to be installed in public places has also gained momentum with over 46,500 signatures and mentions in various press and websites.

Well done to everyone involved!

 

1000th Changing Places toilet opens

July saw the 1000th Changing Places toilet registered in Retford, Nottinghamshire. Following two years of local campaigning and fundraising, the opening of this facility was a significant milestone for the campaign. A huge driving force behind the installation of the facility was campaigner Alison Beevers. Thanks to Alison for all her efforts and everyone who worked so hard in making this project a reality.

 

 

#LooAdvent – Hadley’s Heroes awareness campaign

Campaigner Sarah Brisdion has been leading a great awareness raising campaign on social media throughout December by sharing a festive toilet selfie every day of advent to remind people about the indignity that hundreds of thousands of disabled people face every day due to the lack of Changing Places toilets. Sarah’s brave and creative campaigning has now caught the eye of celebrities who have been showing their support. Adam, Alex and Josh, the stars of Channel 4’s the Last Leg, and Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft have taken their own toilet selfies to raise awareness of the importance of Changing Places toilets.

Thanks to Sarah for taking on this challenge and spreading vital awareness of Changing Places toilets. You can see all of Sarah’s #LooAdvent selfies on her Twitter account: https://twitter.com/SazBrisdion and by following Hadley’s Heroes.

 

Changing Places toilets in Westminster

Changing Places toilets are being increasingly talked about in Westminster. In January Jonathan Reynolds MP asked a question to the Minister. Campaigners and the Consortium have also met with several MP’s over the year and as a result a number of MP’s are now petitioning the Department of Communities and Local Government. December saw Changing Places toilets discussed in the House of Commons. During Prime Minister’s questions, Rishi Sunak MP asked the Prime Minister to strongly consider updating building regulations to ensure broader provision of Changing Places toilets. In responding, the Prime Minister said that Changing Places toilets were a very important issue and one that makes a real difference to the lives of disabled children and carers. The Prime Minister joined Rishi in urging relevant buildings to consider installing Changing Places toilets and suggested a meeting with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. We look forward to meeting the Secretary of State with Rishi in 2018 to identify what can be done to strengthen legislation and, crucially, see the number of Changing Places toilets increase further.

 

Premier League Football Clubs

It has been fantastic to see the increasing number of Changing Places toilet facilities at sporting stadiums across the UK. In May, Watford FC opened their new facility. In July, Leicester City FC registered their Changing Places toilet as well as West Bromwich Albion Football club. In September, Queens Park Rangers also opened a toilet at their Loftus Road Stadium which is fantastic news for sporting fans.

 

Pamiloo – Pamis Mobile Changing Places vehicle

This year saw PAMIS acquire Scotland’s first mobile Changing Places toilet, aka the Pamiloo! This facility can now be used by families and at leisure events held by PAMIS throughout Scotland and to provide fully accessible toileting facilities. The Pamiloo has been kept busy since its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, from making local events more inclusive to being situated on The Mount in Edinburgh as part of Scotland’s World Toilet Day celebrations.

 

 

 

Scottish Accessible Travel Framework

Working with the Scottish Government, the transport community and disabled people through their organisations, Transport Scotland are actively working to improve accessible travel in Scotland through the development of a ten year plan – the Accessible Travel Framework. PAMIS are part of the National Transport Accessibility Steering Group and Changing Places toilets are a key outcome within the framework. Through the group, PAMIS are now working with Calmac ferry company to improve and develop Changing Places for ferry customers.

 

CastleCourt Shopping Centre, Northern Ireland

December saw the opening of the first Changing Places toilet at a shopping centre in Northern Ireland, in Belfast's CastleCourt shopping centre. This is great news for Belfast and a step towards the city becoming more inclusive. Centre Director for CastleCourt Paul McMahon said it was hoped the new bathroom "will have a positive impact on many people with disabilities, their family and carers.” We look forward to seeing more Changing Places toilets opening across Northern Ireland next year.

 

 

Center Parcs

Campaigner Tony Clough MBE met with Center Parcs this year who confirmed that they have plans to introduce at least one Changing Places toilet at each of their villages by Summer 2018. Woburn Forest already has three Changing Places toilets and Whinfell Forest has one. The future plans are as follows:

  • Sherwood Forest – one Changing Places toilet by summer 2018 with future plans to introduce two more.
  • Elveden Forest - one Changing Places toilet by summer 2018 with future plans to introduce two more.
  • Whinfell Forest – a further Changing Places toilet by summer 2018.

Thank you Tony for all your fantastic campaigning efforts.

 

IKEA UK

With Changing Places toilets already in seven existing stores (Leeds, Southampton, Sheffield, Conventry, Edinburgh, Dublin and Wembley), IKEA have said that their ambition is to have Changing Places toilets in all new stores. Tony Clough MBE, who has been campaigning for this and speaking to IKEA, explained that facilities are planned at Lancing, Exeter, Greenwich, Nottingham, Tottenham and Brighton currently, which is excellent news. Thank you to Tony and everyone who has campaigned for this.

 

BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme

Many will remember at the end of 2016, Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike was in the media because she bravely spoke out about being forced to wet herself on a train when an accessible toilet was out of order. In August, Anne was on the Victoria Derbyshire show speaking to others who faced similar problems with accessing toilets. Campaigner Lorna Fillingham appeared on the show and spoke about her disabled daughter Emily-May and the need for more Changing Places toilets. This was following campaigner Rachel George also highlighting the campaign with her son Adam, when she appeared on the show earlier in 2017. Great awareness raising!


New co-chair of Changing Places Consortium

In November, Muscular Dystrophy UK took over from Mencap to lead campaigning activity across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and co chair the Consortium with PAMIS. Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of MDUK, said “Our charity has a proud heritage of fighting for better facilities and access for disabled people, a heritage we can draw on to drive the Changing Places toilets campaign forwards. An estimated 70,000 people live with a muscle-wasting condition in the UK, and many can benefit from the use of a Changing Places toilet. There is lots more work to do in raising awareness and improving building regulations to ensure better facilities for all disabled people, and we are excited to work with PAMIS and the rest of the Consortium to make it happen."

As a Consortium, we know there is still much more to be done to improve access to Changing Places toilets. However, we are confident that with the support of all the incredible Changing Places campaigners that we will continue to see the number of available toilets grow until every disabled person is able to access a toilet that meets their needs.

 

A Huge Thank You

Last but by no means least we wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for what has been the most incredible year of passionate campaigning. Through securing lots of fantastic, high profile media coverage and making excellent use of social media, you have helped raise crucial awareness of the need for Changing Places toilets and as a direct result more facilities are being installed across the country which is fantastic. THANK YOU to each and every one of you who have dedicated so much time and effort to supporting each other, raising awareness and campaigning tirelessly throughout the year.

Because of you, the campaign has been featured heavily in the media and online this year, including BBC News at 10, Womanthology, The Times, Daily Mail, The Mirror, Independent, iNews, The Sun, BBC News Online, ITV News Online, Mumsnet, SEN Magazine, Disabled Children's Partnership, The Mighty Site, The Huffington Post, Selfish Mother, Manchester Evening News, Metro, Families Online, Good To Know, Daily Record and lots of local newspapers around the UK.

For now, on behalf of all the Consortium, we want to wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone involved in the Changing Places campaign. We look forward to working with you all in 2018.
 

 

More news stories


Copyright 2018 Changing Places