15 August 2017

Joining together to press for larger loos with hoists

In composing the title I realise how boring this blog will be, but sometimes the most boring things affect us most! This issue has been an inconvenience for years and it's good to know that a national campaign is coordinating pressure for this on the internet and gives us a chance to contribute to solutions.
http://www.changing-places.org/ is a website sponsored by Mencap to promote fully accessible loos with lots of space and equipment, like hoists, for those of us not able to transfer without aids. On the website you can look for such loos by geographical area and also have a chance to alert fellow users to ones not already listed. This site is a great help when planning a day out somewhere new in order to find out when you can make a loo break.  There's a regular email newsletter too with opportunities to contribute to the website map.
Mind you, those updating the website can't be held responsible for the whole experience! For instance, we were excited to find there was a Changing Places loo at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol as we had previously struggled with an inadequately sized one there. However the map was unclear about the exact location and we struggled to find the room for a good 20 minutes as it was off the main thoroughfare and staff at Cribbs weren't in the know. Then when we did find it, the room was so full of clutter, I could hardly get my powered wheelchair and small hoist in there! However solutions were found at high speed and all was well!
Of course there are not nearly enough yet of Changing Places toilets to solve our problem and give us an equal chance of a good day out, but the need becomes more urgent as local authorities take the austerity route and close their public toilets across the country- usually the ones built to a high specification and building regulations!
Make the Changing Places website a regular visiting place!