Changing Places – Change Lives (While Boosting Footfall)

For many people, standard disabled toilets just aren’t suitable. Not only do they lack changing benches and hoists, but they also aren’t big enough for both wheelchair users and carers. That’s why Changing Places exist. Changing Places are combined toilets, showers and changing rooms for people with complex disabilities – and they provide an essential facility for many people in the UK.

A matter of regulation

Many venues or organisations might think Changing Places aren’t for them – but in fact, all leisure centres and community provision centres (like town halls) must now have Changing Places facilities to comply with BS 8300. There are also calls for the regulations to extend to train stations and all new community facilities like shopping centres, and many campaigners believe that before long, Changing Places will be a requirement for all public buildings (much like standard disabled toilets).

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It is therefore important to think about installing a Changing Places facility in your building, so that you’re prepared for any changes in building regulations. Don’t scramble to become compliant – get ahead today.

Equality for all

Of course, catering for disabled people shouldn’t just be about complying with building regulations. Diversity and equality are high on most organisations’ agenda these days, and for good reason. As the world becomes more and more attuned to social issues and instances of discrimination, organisations are striving to live up to higher standards.

If you’re an organisation that prides itself on equality, then you should consider installing a Changing Places toilet. After all, you can’t claim to be truly equal if your building is inaccessible for a large proportion of disabled people.

Increased revenue

One of the most compelling reasons for installing Changing Places is the increased revenue it can bring. Without Changing Places, many disabled people are either unable to visit or have to cut their trip short because they are unable to go to the loo while out. Indeed, research has found that businesses could be losing the business of 1 in 5 people because they are not accessible to disabled people.

By installing a Changing Places toilet, you ensure that more disabled people can visit you – and more visitors means more revenue. It’s an investment that helps you capitalise on the valuable purple pound.

Indeed, Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent had 30 families visit the Changing Places toilet on the first weekend it was open, proving that there’s most certainly demand these facilities in more public places. One care home even took residents on a day out to the park specifically because it had a Changing Places toilet. Disabled people are out there and want to visit you – all you have to do is make it possible for them to do so.

Making the most of Changing Places

To make the most of Changing Places, you need to be vocal about your participation in the scheme. You can publicise the fact you offer it by registering on the Changing Places website, getting reviewed on Euan’s Guide and adding yourself to the FindMyToilet app. These are popular ways for people to check facility availability.

You can also tap into the large online disabled community by sharing the news on your company blog, website and social media. By getting the word out that you have a Changing Places toilet, you can not only encourage more disabled people to visit your venue, but you can inspire others to install the facilities too.

Talk to the experts

Installing a Changing Places isn’t difficult – there are lots of options no matter how much space you have available.

Changing Places BS 8300:2009 has a floor size requirement of 12m2, which is considerably larger than a standard disabled toilet. You could amalgamate several existing rooms. Or you can even install modular solutions, which can be placed on any piece of land and are compliant straight out of the box

To figure out which solution is best for you, you should work with specialists who can manage the whole process and help you find a cost-effective solution that makes the most of the available space. And if you contact us early, we can make it easy to add a Changing Places facility during your refurb or new build. Just contact us on sales@wealdenrehab.com or on 0845 658 8411.

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