MDUK is working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to help identify how best to direct the £30m of Government funding, first announced in the March 2020 budget, to install more Changing Places toilets in existing buildings around England. To help inform where, and in which buildings, these facilities are needed most in England we ran a survey and held focus groups with people who use Changing Places Toilets.
Changing Places toilets are different from standard accessible toilets, and without access to them many people have to stay at home, limit fluid intake before going out, or have to be changed on a dirty toilet floor.
Karen Hoe, MDUK Changing Places Manager, said:
“Do you wish there was a Changing Places toilet close to you? If so, please complete our short survey. We need you to share your experience and insight to help inform where, and in which kinds of buildings, these toilets are needed. There are currently only 1,500 Changing Places toilets in the UK, while we know more than a quarter of a million disabled people rely on them so they can work, travel, explore and have fun.”
Luke Hall MP, Regional Growth Minister, said:
“For too long, the lack of suitable toilet facilities has meant disabled people have faced major difficulties when they shop, go out, or travel, and this should not be the case. The significant investment of £30m from government and our charity partnership with Muscular Dystrophy UK will help bring major, life-enhancing freedoms to those people who have specific needs. I encourage Changing Places toilet users, their carers and families to complete the survey to ensure we can identify how to make best use of the funding available to benefit those who need it most.”
What happens next?
Local authorities will have the opportunity to bid for the funding, so please encourage your local authority to express an interest when the applications open.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
MDUK is working with the MHCLG on a prospectus and application process guide for funding for Changing Places toilets. Local authorities will also have access to full training and support.
In line with all of these changes, the Changing Places Consortium will update and re-write its practical guide.