Today is World Toilet Day – an annual event that aims to raise awareness about the 2.6 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to toilets. For us, this is a perfect opportunity to talk about the campaign for Changing Places toilets. A quarter of a million people in the UK need these fully accessible facilities, but there are still not enough of them.
What are Changing Places toilets?
Changing Places toilets are bigger than standard accessible toilets and are vital for children and adults with muscle-wasting conditions, cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis.
Having access to Changing Places toilets increases independence and improves quality of life. When venues such as railway stations, restaurants, pubs and cafés do not have any facilities, it can leave disabled people isolated, forcing them to consider options as extreme as surgery, not leaving the house or being changed on toilet floors. This can make a day out with friends or getting to work a challenging ordeal.
What do we want?
Muscular Dystrophy UK co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium. We believe every disabled person should be able to access a toilet that meets their needs. That is why we are calling for:
- Changes to legislation to make Changing Places toilets mandatory in new, large public buildings
- At least one Changing Places toilet in every town in the UK
What has the campaign achieved?
We know there’s still work to be done, but it has been an encouraging 12 months for the Changing Places campaign. Some of our highlights include:
- Working with Tesco to install Changing Places toilets. The supermarket chain has already registered 45 facilities and has committed to installing more next year.
- Partnering with the Department for Transport, which has committed £2 million of funding for Changing Places toilets in motorway service stations, and the Department of Health and Social Care, which is funding the same amount in hospitals.
- Encouraging the government to hold a consultation on changes to legislation
None of this would have been possible without the support and hard work of our wonderful campaigners.
What can you do today?
We would welcome your support in helping make a noise about Changing Places toilets today and every day. You can do this by:
If you have questions about the campaign please email email@example.com