The Aveso Interview
Last week, Changing Places campaigners Lloyd and Leroy interviewed Nick and James from Aveso, the official Changing Places sponsor, to find out why they wanted to be involved with the campaign and which loo was their favourite!
Leroy- How did you hear about the Changing Places campaign?
James – We had worked with Loretto, Director of PAMIS and Changing Places consortium member, in Scotland and it was through her that we got involved. We saw that in Scotland her work was very successful and we got more and more involved.
Lloyd - How do you feel about being official sponsors of the campaign?
Nick – Proud I think is the right word. The energy the campaign gives off is impressive. We’re proud to be involved with people who share the values we do.
Leroy - Have you done this type of work before?
Nick – For a charity, no. We’ve been involved in installing hoists and changing tables in hospitals and in people’s homes. We’re excited now to be involved with a charity.
Lloyd - Why are Changing Places toilets important?
Nick – They’re very important. There are 230,000 people with disabilities in the UK. Why should they be deprived basic facilities? And it’s not just those people, it impacts their carers too and visitors from other countries. It’s a huge proportion of the country that we should be looking after and providing facilities for.
James – We’ve had disabled toilets for a long time. But if they are not Changing Places toilets then they are not accessible for everyone. Changing Places toilets makes them accessible for everyone.
Leroy - What attracted you to become the official sponsor of the campaign?
James - We’ve worked with families of people with profound disabilities and they talked about being stuck at home, there was no where for them to go easily. When we came across this it was exactly what we where looking for, for the work we wanted to do in the future. People are crying out for it.
Lloyd - Of the Changing Places toilets you have installed, which are you most proud of and why?
James – To look into the future I think the Manchester Airport is a great high profile place to have Changing Places toilets. I think there will be six going into the airport; two next year, two the year after, and two following that. The problem is that this leads onto no other accessible point though. If you arrive at the other end from Manchester there isn’t anything. We’re building links with Changing Places in Germany. We’re excited this will spread more widely. A Changing Places toilet has been installed in Oslo. We’re trying to spread the word internationally!
Leroy – What about at the moment? Which one are you most proud of?
Nick – Staying on the theme of airports, I think the Stansted Airport toilet that opened last week. It’s opened up a whole new area geographically for people to travel from if they can’t easily get to Heathrow. I think another airport with facilities is exciting.
Also Tesco in Stourbridge would be another one. It’s very exciting. It’s a benchmark to have Changing Places toilets in supermarket chains.
Lloyd – Yes, first Asda and now Tesco!
Nick –Exactly! Hopefully it will see other supermarket chains following their lead.
James – What made you, Leroy and Lloyd, want to get involved with this campaign?
Lloyd – I first started working on it after going to an APPG on learning disability we had in 2009.
Leroy – I had worked with people with profound disabilities and from that experience I wanted to get involved. It’s a necessity. People with PMLD need to be a part of their communities.
Lloyd – We have a passion for this sort of thing, for toilets.
Nick- And what has been your proudest achievement so far?
Lloyd - For me it was Cadbury world.
Leroy – It has to be the 500th. At the o2.
Nick – It’s so impressive, such a huge number in such a short time.
Leroy – And If I have anything to do with it, Arsenal will be the first premiership football club to have one!