Trailblazer Marni Smyth featured on the BBC programme Victoria Derbyshire this week, talking about the need for more Changing Places toilets.
Marni has spinal muscular atrophy, and is a wheelchair user. She needs a hoist to go to the toilet, and she said that finding a disabled toilet to meet her needs was a daily struggle.
She told the BBC:
When I first went to university, I would avoid drinking as much as I could, because otherwise I needed to go home and leave a night out early.
Marni has spoken out about how she got a supra pubic catheter inserted into her bladder through her lower abdomen so that she could go to the toilet without needing a hoist. Working with Trailblazers, Marni’s story has even been mentioned in Parliament so work to persuade the Government that new policy or legislation is needed to provide these sorts of toilets.
Trailblazers Campaign Officer Michaela Hollywood said:
Changing Places toilets are increasing in numbers, with over 1,000 of them now right across the UK. However, when compared with the number of toilets across the UK, and number of people who need them, we need many more before we begin to properly meet the needs of disabled people.
Marni has shared her personal story, and we are proud to work with her on this important issue. Disabled people should not feel that surgery is their only option.
We are encouraged by the Victoria Derbyshire programme covering the issue, and hope that the media will continue to shed light on such an important issue.