Free Changing Places Workshops
Toilets are something most of take for granted: a mundane necessity of everyday life - but just imagine how difficult life would be if there was no loo to go to when we left our homes.
This is reality for 250,000 people in the UK whose needs are not met by standard accessible toilets: people who need changing when they are out due to disability or age-related health needs. When they are out and about they and their carers face the stark choice between being changed on a public toilet floor or going home: something which is unhygienic, undignified and unacceptable in modern society.
Fortunately, 'Changing Places' toilets are the answer to this problem. They are large, hygienic spaces with a height-adjustable changing bench, ceiling-track hoist, sink, loo and plenty of room for helpers and equipment. There are now over 800 in the UK thanks to a national campaign by a network of volunteer campaigners.
Derbyshire currently has 23 Changing Places but many more are needed. In addition, spreading the word about existing facilities to the people who need them is just as important and a new, local company has secured funding to hold three free workshops on Changing Places over the next two months.
The Accessible Training Company, set up by Accessible Derbyshire Founders, Gillian Scotford and Jane Carver, is running the workshops in the Community Hub at the Proact stadium (which itself boasts a Changing Places facility) with funding from Clos-o-mat who design and supply equipment for Changing Places toilets. Each workshops has been designed with a particular target-group in mind and an expert from Clos-o-mat will be on hand at each one.
The sessions are as follows:
- Tuesday, 16th June Changing Places for Decision-Makers
3-5pm (Planners, Architects, Business-Leaders, Councillors etc
- Thursday, 2nd July Changing Places for Tourism Businesses
3-5pm (Hotels, Attractions, Leisure facilities, Travel Businesses
- Thursday, 16th July Changing Places – A User Guide
3-5pm (Users, Carers, Social Care, Special Schools, Health bodies, GP Surgeries, Nursing-homes, Other service- providers)
Jane Carver, who has campaigned for Changing Places in the area for the past 12 years said:
“We are delighted to be able to offer these free workshops so that we can both raise awareness of the need for these facilities and ensure that the ones we already have are publicised and used by those who need them. Changing Places really do open up a world of opportunity for people and with Summer approaching there's no better time for people to get out and about and give them a try.”
Following on from the Changing Places workshops on each of the dates are additional workshops on 'Accessible Tourism' which is worth £12.4 billion in the UK. These are aimed at helping tourism businesses in the area increase their share of this lucrative market which is growing at an incredible 11% per year. There is a charge for these additional workshops.
For more information or to book a place on any of the workshops visit theaccessibletrainingcompany.eventbrite.com or call (07775) 639789.
For more information on Changing Places visit www.changing-places.org