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Christchurch campaign for Changing Places

1st Oct 2013

Christchurch campaign for Changing Places

 People with a learning disability in Dorset have formed a group to campaign for Changing Places toilets in the Christchurch area.

The Christchurch Changing Places Campaign Group includes:
• People with a learning disability from the Juniper Day Centre (above)
•  People First Dorset– a user-led organisation for people with learning disabilities
• Mencap
Staff at the Juniper Centre in Christchurch, Dorset , a day centre for people with a learning disability were prompted into action by the lack of a Changing Places facility in the area.  They had been campaigning for a while and when People First Dorset visited the Juniper Centre to find out how things were going for their members, they were asked to help. They approached Mencap for help to form a campaigns group and campaigns plan and arranged a joint meeting at the Juniper Centre.
Jo Fox Regional campaigns officer for Mencap in the West said:
“People First approached me on behalf of people at the Juniper Day Centre and parents and carers of those who attend there to see if there was anything that Mencap could do to help their campaign.  There are currently no Changing Places toilets in the area as there are in other areas of Dorset.  This means many people are restricted in the daily activities and their ability to take art in the community simply because there are not the right toilet facilities available.  To help address this we decided to start a group and have a meeting to form a campaigns plan.
Kerry from People First Dorset also approached Dorset Learning Disability Partnership Board who said that they strongly support the campaign.
The group has planned a lot of activity for the summer 2013 which includes a petition signing event and flush mob in the town centre, writing letters to councilors and MPs and gathering case stories to show how badly people and their families and carers need these facilities
What does the group believe is the secret of a good local campaign?

Michael Childs (pictured centre) and others from the Juniper Centre above say:

The official sponsor of the Changing Places campaign is Aveso Ltd.  Aveso hope that its support for the campaign will help it achieve its target of 1000 registered Changing Places toilets within the next three years.