Retford’s first changing places facility

Changing Places Logo
A brand new Changing Places facility for Retford has now opened following six months of construction and almost two years of campaigning. The £70k facility, which is located next to the existing public toilets on Chancery Lane, 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.

Changing Places OpeningA further £3,514 was raised by a local Changing Places campaign group led by Alison Beevers, which has helped to buy additional equipment and will contribute to the annual maintenance and operational costs.

The additional support provided by a Changing Places toilet includes a Ceiling Hoist, Height Adjustable Changing Bench and Height Adjustable Wash Basin.

Alison Beevers, who helped to officially open the facility with the Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Sue Shaw, said:

“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.

“Because standard disabled toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability or the elderly, as well as their carers and families, Changing Places toilets are vital in town centres, cities, hospitals and tourist hubs. 

“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. As such, Changing Places are different to standard disabled toilets providing more space for one or more carers and extra assistive equipment.”

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Sue Shaw, said:

“This is an amazing and much needed facility that will benefit and improve the lives of many families who have children or who care for adults who have profound disabilities and serious impairments.

“This project has brought together a number of different partners to create a facility that will genuinely make a difference and it is a great example of what can be achieved with productive partnership working. We also hope that this facility will encourage more people to visit Retford and champion the benefits of making the town more accessible.”

Martin Jackaman, from 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 and there are now almost 1,000 across the UK, with others in Australia, Germany and Canada.

“This facility will be the 22nd Changing Places toilet within Nottinghamshire and 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 all the everyone who has been involved in this project.”

Published: Wednesday 28 June 2017