Retford Changing Places 1000th in Country
Retford’s brand new Changing Places toilet has been registered as the 1,000th facility in the country and has gone down in Changing Places history.
The announcement was made as part of Changing Places Awareness Day which helps to raise more awareness of the life changing difference Changing Places toilets make to people’s lives.
The Changing Places toilet was recently opened following six months of construction and almost two years of local campaigning and fundraising. It is the first Changing Places toilet in the Retford area and the 1000th registered Changing Places toilet in the UK.
The £70k facility has been made possible thanks to £46k of funding from Bassetlaw District Council, in addition to contributions of £12k each from the Nottinghamshire Learning, Disability and Autism Partnership Board, and Nottinghamshire County Council.
A huge driving force behind the installation of this toilet was campaigner Alison Beevers. Alison started campaigning for Changing Places toilets a few years ago because of her son, Mylor, who needs these vital facilities. She has always been hugely positive, including inventing the Changing Places selfie kit! On top of campaigning and raising awareness, Alison also raised over £3,500 to go towards the cost of the Changing Places through various events. She is a true inspiration.
Speaking about the toilet being named the 1,000th Changing Places, Alison Beevers said: “We knew the numbers were close to 1,000 so we are absolutely thrilled to learn Retford has been registered as the 1,000th Changing Places toilet!
“We are delighted that Retford now has a Changing Places facility that will very much enhance people’s lives and make visiting the town much easier. The need for a Changing Places facility in Retford is very real as people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, physical disabilities as well as other serious impairments such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury, often need extra support to allow them to use the toilets comfortably.
“So much community effort went into making Retford Changing Places happen, it’s wonderful to have our achievements marked in this special and unique way! Thank you”
Bassetlaw District Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Sue Shaw, said:
“It is a huge honour to be named as the UK’s 1,000th Changing Places facility and we are delighted, not only to be able to provide such an amazing facility for its users, but also to be part of such a significant milestone in the Changing Places campaign.
“It is thanks to a dedicated group of local campaigners, led by Alison, who have brought together a collective of partner organisations in order to deliver a facility that will genuinely make a difference to people’s lives.”
Martin Jackaman, one of the founding members of the Changing Places Consortium, said:
“It is fantastic that many partners have been able to work together to create this wonderful facility. Since the Changing Places Consortium was launched in 2006, we have seen the creation and growth of many more Changing Places toilets.
“As well as being the 1000th, this facility is also the 22nd Changing Places toilet within Nottinghamshire. We can safely say that we are a district with a ‘can do’ attitude and have Council’s that care for all and are prepared to take positive action.
“By working together with a few amazing families, all things are possible. We are very proud of Alison's efforts and would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved in this project.”
Councillor Steve Vickers, Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee, said:
“We are pleased to have supported this worthwhile scheme, which will make a huge difference to the lives of people with profound disabilities and serious impairments. This is also a fantastic example of local people working with local councils and charities to make Retford town centre more accessible.”