Premier League Changing Places
This week, the Changing Places Consortium took further steps to ensure that Changing Places toilets are provided at all Premier League football stadia.
Many Changing Places campaigners, their families and campaigning organisations have been involved in the 10 year Premier League Changing Places campaign that was started back in 2006 by Changing Places campaigner and Arsenal fan, Leroy Binns.
After discussion with Mencap and the Changing Places Consortium this week, the minister for disabled people, Penny Mordaunt MP, met on Wednesday 28th September with the Premier League at the Olympic Stadium and issued a call to all Premier Leagues Clubs to install a Changing Places at their venues by the end of the season.
This is great news and will help us to work closely with the clubs as they make plans for their profoundly disabled fans and others who need additional support.
Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates Stadium were the first Premier League club to open their Changing Places back in 2014 at the club’s Premier League game against West Ham.
Leroy Binns officially opened the facility alongside journalist and presenter and fellow Arsenal fan Alex Brooker, who is best known for his work with Channel 4’s The Last Leg and its coverage of the Paralympic Games.
Leroy said at the time: “I have campaigned for a Premier League football club to install a Changing Places toilet for years. Many people with a disability who are huge football fans can’t watch their favourite teams at their ground as the toilets are not suitable for them. I am delighted my club Arsenal are first in the Premier League – in installing the toilet, which will make the ground far more accessible to fans with a disability. I hope other Premiership teams follow and realise the importance of stadiums having equal access to fans with a disability.”
Alun Francis, Arsenal Disability Liaison Officer, said: “We are all incredibly proud to be the first Premier League stadium to install a Changing Places toilet. Arsenal values everyone connected to the Club and we want all visitors to the Emirates Stadium to feel like they belong here and enjoy an equal matchday experience without the stress that standard disabled toilets can cause.”
A representative from our campaign sponsors Aveso who specialise in the design and installation of Changing Places toilets said: “As sponsors of the Changing Places Campaign we are proud to manufacture and recommend the equipment for such a valuable and important facility. The Arsenal FC Changing Places toilet will enable thousands of fans to experience and enjoy the game in the knowledge that both themselves and their family/carer can enjoy a stress free day out. This Changing Places facility sets the bar for every Premiership club”.
There are now registered Changing Places toilets at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United (and other football league clubs) with a few more in the pipeline but there are many clubs yet to commit to installing Changing Places.
The minster and the Changing Places consortium have written to all remaining clubs and we are confident that we will see more registrations in the coming months.
We would like to thank all the hundreds of campaigners who have been involved in the campaign to make all sporting venues accessible to everyone over the years. The campaigning continues and your hard work is recognised by many. Thank you.