Council plans new Changing Places facilities

Published on 04 December 2015

TWO brand new toilet facilities for people with profound disabilities will be opening in Leicester next year.

The city council plans to install Changing Places toilets in Abbey Park and at the Emerald Centre – a voluntary organisation on Gipsy Lane – as part of its commitment to improving access to community facilities for disabled people.

The new toilets – which will offer a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench, a ceiling track hoist, and plenty of space either side of the toilet for carers – will bring the total number of Changing Places facilities in the city up to 13.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who’s responsible for adult social care, said: “These facilities can make a huge difference to the quality of life of thousands of profoundly disabled people.

“Over the past three years, the council has worked with disabled people and organisations to install Changing Places facilities in key locations across the city, but there’s still more that we want to do.

“There’s already a Changing Places toilet at De Montfort Hall, and one will also be provided at the new Haymarket Bus Station – but we’re also talking to other local businesses and attractions about installing facilities at their venues too.”

The city council has invested around £550,000 in improving access to community facilities for disabled people in the past three years, with a budget of around £350,000 available this financial year.

While the focus for works has been the installation of Changing Places facilities, the council has also supported voluntary and community organisations to make minor adaptations or purchase specialist equipment – and it’s also funded improvements to local leisure centres, with the installation of poolside hoists, accessible changing rooms and automatic doors.

The Changing Places facilities in Abbey Park and at the Emerald Centre are due to be completed in spring 2016.

A list of all the Changing Places facilities in Leicester is available at www.leicester.gov.uk/changingplaces, while useful information for disabled people and their carers can be found at www.disabledgo.com

It’s 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 and cerebral palsy.

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For further information please contact Madeleine Redway in the press office on 0116 454 4152 or madeleine.redway@leicester.gov.uk