Two new Changing Places toilets open in city
Published on Wednesday, July 6, 2016
TWO new toilet facilities for people with profound disabilities have opened in Leicester.
Work is now complete on new facilities at Abbey Park and at the Emerald Centre – a voluntary organisation on Gipsy Lane – as part of the city council’s commitment to improving access to community facilities for disabled people.
This brings the total number of Changing Places toilets in the city to 13, with a further seven available at leisure and community centres in the county.
Changing Places toilets are wheelchair accessible and offer a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a ceiling track hoist, and plenty of space for carers.
Over the last three years, the city council has closely with disabled people and local groups to install facilities in key locations across the city, and as part of major new developments including the Haymarket Bus Station and the new Riders Arena.
Plans are now being drawn up for two more Changing Places toilets, at Aylestone and Leicester Leys leisure centres.
Deputy city mayor Rory Palmer, who is responsible for adult social care, said: “Changing Places toilets can help to make a huge difference to the quality of life for thousands of disabled people.
“We have come a long way in just three years with thirteen Changing Places toilets now available in Leicester, but we know there is still more that needs to be done.
“Each Changing Places toilet we complete is another step towards ensuring that the city’s attractions are welcoming and accessible to all visitors.”
The city council has invested around £850,000 in improving access to community facilities for disabled people since 2012.
Along with installing Changing Places facilities at its own buildings, the council has supported voluntary and community organisations to make adaptions or purchase specialist equipment.
Rossanna Trudgian, co-chair of the Changing Places consortium, said: “It is fantastic to see more and more Changing Places toilets being installed in Leicester and across the UK as we celebrate 10 years of campaigning.
“Leicester can be proud of the investment that the city council has made in providing these facilities for those who need them.
“However, there are still many large public places across the UK that lack Changing Places toilets and therefore deny people’s rights. With the help of our fantastic campaigners, and our campaign sponsors Aveso, we will continue to fight to make sure every single person in the UK who requires a Changing Places toilet, can access one.”
It is estimated that there are around 250,000 people in the UK who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy.
For more information visit www.leicester.gov.uk/changingplaces