Changing Places room opens at Upper Hundreds Car Park in Aylesbury
From Friday 9 October, disabled visitors and their carers will find a new accessible toilet facility at Upper Hundreds Car Park in Aylesbury town centre which can be accessed 24 hours a day.
The Changing Places Room offers a wider range of services than a standard accessible (disabled) toilet. The facilities in the room at Upper Hundreds include:
• Adjustable height changing bench, suitable for adults
• Peninsula automatic wash-and-dry toilet
• Ceiling hoist and track – but users must bring their own sling
• Adjustable height washbasin
• Wide paper roll dispenser
• Hand dryer
• Privacy screen
Steve Bowles, Cabinet Member for Town Centre Regeneration, said:
“I am delighted that at this very difficult time, Buckinghamshire Council has been able to continue to invest in much needed facilities for visitors to Aylesbury town centre.
“Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets.
“This will make a significant difference to many people who do or who want to visit Aylesbury town centre.”
Max Hailey, Chair of Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership, commented:
“We are continually looking for ways to make Aylesbury a more attractive destination for shopping and leisure activities and I am delighted that the campaign for a Changing Places facility has been successful and that Buckinghamshire Council has been able to make this much needed investment in the town centre.
“All businesses in the town centre want to be able to welcome customers from all sections of the community and this facility will enable us to provide an improved level of service for people with additional needs.”
Sarah Westacott who has been campaigning for a ‘Changing Places Toilet’ in Aylesbury for some years, said:
“I was campaigning on behalf of the children at the Pace School in Aylesbury and the local charity MASKS (Make A Special Kid Smile), of which I am Chair of Trustees. But ultimately it was as a parent of a child with complex needs and on behalf of other families like mine. The campaign also coincided with a friend breaking his back in a skiing accident and his subsequent rehab at The National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville, birthplace of the Paralympic movement.
“This is a much-needed facility for people with disabilities, and their carers and I am delighted it is here at last. It will make such a difference to the lives of many people; giving them greater freedom and dignity.”
Cllr Judy Brandis, who also campaigned for a Changing Places facility, added:
“Over 2 years ago, when I was Vice Chairman of Aylesbury Vale District Council, Sarah came up to me at a Pace event and explained how difficult it was to change the children when they were taken into Aylesbury.
“I was horrified when she told me how they had to change the young people on loo floors or in cars. Since we are the home of the Paralympics as well, I was determined to do something about this.
“It was a long process, as many of these things are, but I am delighted we got there in the end and this facility will make a huge difference to the lives of some very deserving people in our community.”
There are several other Changing Places toilets in Buckinghamshire including at the Eden Shopping Centre and Tesco Loudwater in High Wycombe, Tesco in Amersham, Cornwalls Meadows car park in Buckingham, Waddesdon Manor, Wendover Woods and Thomley Hall Centre. For a full list of over 1,500 registered Changing Places and details of the facilities provided at each location go to: https://changingplaces.uktoiletmap.org
To find out more about the Changing Places campaign for accessible toilets go to: http://changing-places.org