A Peterborough charity that supports families that have children with additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions, is being credited with a £120,000 ‘Changing Places’ specialist toilet at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.
IWM Duxford was inspired to add the new toilet space following a visit by Little Miracles.
The museum approached South Cambridgeshire District Council who secured £120,000 of funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as part of £30 million earmarked by the government to increase the number of Changing Places toilets across the country.
The new facilities at Duxford provide extra space and specialist equipment for visitors with profound or multiple disabilities.
“It is only the third Changing Places toilet in South Cambridgeshire, providing additional disabled-friendly features like an adult size changing bed and a hoist for safe lifting,” said a council spokesperson.
Bill Handley, lead Cabinet member for communities for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “These toilets are vital as they enable anyone, regardless of their disability, to go to the shops, attend hospital appointments, enjoy community life, socialise, and travel – all the things that most of us take for granted every day.”
Laura Crean, assistant director strategy and governance at Imperial War Museums, said: “We are committed to removing and reducing barriers so that our branches are open and accessible for everyone.
“This new facility at IWM Duxford will ensure that we have high quality, clean and safe facilities which will substantially improve the visitor experience and move IWM Duxford one step forward to reducing those barriers.
“We’re very grateful to South Cambridgeshire District Council for their support with this project and to Little Miracles for their invaluable feedback.”
Established in 2005, the Changing Places campaign wants Changing Places toilets to be installed in all big public spaces so that people can access their community and use a toilet facility with dignity and hygienically. Changing Places toilets are provided in addition to, and not in place of, standard disabled toilets.
An estimated 240,000 people are unable to use standard toilets, according to the campaign consortium, with the number increasing rapidly. People who require a Changing Places toilet include those with profound and multiple disabilities whether physical or learning, such as muscle-wasting conditions, cerebral palsy, or those who have suffered major physical trauma, or a stroke.
Campaigners want Changing Places toilets to become a mandatory requirement under building regulations for all large public places, like shopping centres, major leisure venues. hospitals, transport hubs, motorway services and airports.
The other Changing Places toilets in South Cambridgeshire are at Bar Hill Tesco and the Extra Cambridge Services on the A14/M11. Opening soon will be the facility at the Western Park Pavilion in Northstowe.
The new Duxford facility adds to more than 1,937 Changing Places toilets across the UK.