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14 December 2017

Our Christmas Message 

Changing Places Annual Report – December 2015

 
2015 has been a landmark year for the Changing Places campaign as we head toward our 10th anniversary next summer. We wanted to take a moment to look back at what has happened in the world of Changing Places in 2015. 
 

New registrations
We currently have 799 registered Changing Places and registered 97 Changing Places toilets across the UK this year including some landmark venues: Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, Galasiels Interchange in Scotland, The National Arboretum in Tetbury, Manchester, Leeds, Heathrow and Stansted Airports, The Velvet Coaster in Blackpool and many more. 
We now have a registration freeze for the Christmas holidays and will be registering an exciting new Changing Places as the 800th UK facility in January 2016. This new facility is the result of some great campaigning work and support from our campaign sponsors Aveso. All will be revealed in the New Year so watch this space!
 
Motorway service providers Welcome Break are installing Changing Places at motorway service stations and we continue to work with the National Trust as they look to provide more Changing Places at their venues across the UK. We also continue to give advice to Changing Places campaigners in Australia, Ireland and Germany. 
 
In September it was good to see that all Premier League Clubs will be improving their offer to disabled supporters and we hope this will add to the Arsenal and Liverpool Changing Places toilets. More here.
 
Sad news 
Back in October, we bid farewell to one of the founders of the Changing Places campaign, Loretto Lambe. Members of the Consortium attended Loretto’s funeral in Dundee in November. The service was a fitting tribute to Loretto's life and work. We heard from many family, friends and colleagues about the part she played in their lives. We would like to thank everyone at PAMIS for their hospitality during this time. Together, we will work hard to carry Loretto’s legacy on.

Changing Places debated in Westminster! 
In October we attended a Changing Places debate in Westminster Hall which gave the campaign some much needed recognition inside Parliament and across the country. MPs from across the UK recognised the need for Changing Places and paid tribute to the passion of our campaigners. We are also aware that an "Early Day Motion" to promote the need for Changing Places in motorway service stations is currently gaining support. We will be watching with interest. 
 
 New Map and World Toilet Day
We launched the new Changing Places map on 19th November (World Toilet Day) with the support of the British Toilet Association and the Department for Communities and Local Government. We have had some very supportive feedback from users of the new tool with the new “plan a journey” feature proving very popular! If you have not seen the map yet then make sure you take a look here.
 
Also on World Toilet Day, PAMIS attended the official opening of a new Changing Places at the Galashiels Interchange, whilst in London we visited a day service in Leyton for young people with learning disabilities to promote the campaign. PAMIS also held a week of events to raise awareness of the need for more Changing Places across the UK. 
 
National Survey
We are currently running a national survey to measure the impact of Changing Places in peoples’ lives and will be preparing a report in the New Year to mark the 10th anniversary of the campaign. Over 750 people have taken it already. If you haven’t taken part yet you still can here.
 
People's Choice Changing Places Award 2015
We are currently running the “People’s Choice Changing Places Award 2015” with our campaign sponsors Aveso. This is the second year of the award voted for by our campaigners and supporters. The award was won last year by Arsenal Football Club and the result will be announced in February 2016. Have your say in who will win this year: Vote here.
 
Campaigning Champions
As always, our wonderful Changing Places campaigners (yes, you!) have been making sure that the Changing Places message is being heard loud and clear, including the powerful #barefootchallenge. 
 
Petitions and campaigning on social media have been valuable resources that campaigners have used to great impact. This has also led to many Changing Places campaigners featuring in local and national press (TV, radio and print!) across the UK, representing the campaign with huge amounts of passion. Meanwhile, the Retford Changing Places campaign has bought us the first ever Changing Places Selfie Kit and Changing Places Christmas Tree! 
 

The campaigns presence on Facebook has been phenomenal with well over 11,000 likes to date. We would like to thank Sarah Mitchell for the superb job she does in facilitating the Changing Places community Facebook page and forum.
 
To celebrate our campaigner’s endless efforts (and to finally bring everyone together) we held our very first Changing Places Conference on February 21st 2015 at Chesterfield FC’s Proact Stadium. The event was an informative and collaborative day which included a number of experienced and respected guest speakers including Accessible Derbyshire, The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity, Visits Unlimited, Euan’s Guide, “Hop, Skip and Jump” and stories from families that need Changing Places. We hope to repeat the day in future years!
 
In October we held our first training session for new campaigners with Changing Places Facebook co-ordinator Sarah Mitchell and our sponsors Aveso. It was a great pilot session and full of ideas about how we can support campaigners in the future. We hope to expand on this session through 2016 and offer training to all new Changing Places campaigners as they get involved in the campaign.
 
Into 2016…
2016 will see the 10th Anniversary of the Changing Places campaign, the crowning of the second Peoples Choice Award champion and the registration of the 800th Changing Places- who will get the honour?! 
 
Final words
The campaign goes from strength to strength and this year has been the most successful to date. 
As always, everyone’s passionate support for the Changing Places campaign has helped spread the word about Changing Places to new audiences and put big smiles on our faces all year round- thank you. We look forward to more of the same in 2016. For now, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 
 
The Changing Places Team x
 

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