Did you see the Changing Places social media campaign by Sarah Brisdion over Christmas? Her #LooAdvent was picked up by mainstream media, including being featured on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 show and Sky News.
If you’re not familiar with it, Sarah spent the period of Advent taking festive toilet selfies to raise awareness of the need for changing benches and hoists in disabled toilets. Using the hashtags #LooAdvent and #ChangingPlaces
The need for Changing Places is something that My Family, Our Needs is very supportive of and our first blog on the topic was from Rachel George, back in July 2016. Rachel set out what accessible facilities mean to her son Adam. This coincided with Changing Places Awareness Day and 10th Anniversary.
Changing Places Consortium
According to the Changing Places Consortium, over a 1/4 million people need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.
For those who are unfamiliar, the Consortium explains what Changing Places accessible facilities should have, including:
The right equipment
- A height adjustable adult-sized changing bench.
- A tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible.
- Adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers.
- A centrally placed toilet with room either side.
- A screen or curtain to allow some privacy.
A safe and clean environment
- Wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench.
- A large waste bin for disposable pads.
- A non-slip floor.
Support the campaign
There are a number of petitions in place to help drive the change including getting a commitment from supermarkets to provide Changing Places toilets within 18 months – which is being championed by 2017 BAPS Awards Campaigning for Change winner Laura, Mums on a Mission and to make them a compulsory part to building regulations which is being championed by Lorna Fillingham.
It feels like momentum is building on this, and so it should. Sudocrem has even launched new award highlighting the need for Changing Rooms for Everyone. Add your voice to the campaign and sign the petitions, tweet your MP, make some noise and stop people suffering the indignity of having to lie on public toilet floors.