The 19 November is World Toilet Day. The day focuses on the importance of sanitation and aims to raise awareness about the 2.6 billion people (nearly half the world’s population) who don’t have access to toilets and proper sanitation. For us, this is a perfect opportunity to talk about the campaign for Changing Places toilets.
What are Changing Places toilets?
Changing Places toilets are bigger than standard accessible toilets and are vital for over ¼ million people in the UK, including 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?
We believe every disabled person should be able to access a toilet that meets their needs. As a minimum, we want to see one Changing Places toilet in every town in the UK. To help make this a reality, we are continuing to lobby for changes in existing legislation so that Changing Places toilets become a mandatory requirement in all large new builds.
What has the campaign achieved?
Since it officially launched in 2006 the campaign has achieved a huge amount- taking the number of Changing Places toilets from just a handful to over 1,000. Since Muscular Dystrophy UK became co-chairs a year ago we have:
- Registered over 130 new Changing Places toilets across the UK.
- Briefed Paula Sherriff MP ahead of Ten Minute Rule Bill on Changing Places toilets. The Bill is due to be debated later this week.
- Supported campaigners across the UK with their fantastic lobbying and awareness raising work.
- Met with Rishi Sunak, MP and Minister at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to talk about how we can work together to increase the number of Changing Places toilets.
- Agreed to work in partnership with the Department for Transport to allocate £2 million of funding to improve Changing Places toilet provision at motorway services. We hope to share more details about this scheme shortly.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org