BBC Discuss Upcoming OpeMed Changing Places Project

OpeMed’s imminent Changing Places project at Crawley Shopping Centre was the topic of discussion on the BBC Breakfast television show this morning.

Following the theme of the recent headlines, detailing Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike being forced to wet herself due to a lack of disabled toileting facilities, Changing Places and their importance to the disabled community was at the centre of the debate.

BBC Discuss Upcoming OpeMed Changing Places Project

BBC Discuss Upcoming OpeMed Changing Places Project

On a CrossCountry service from Nuneaton to Stansted last month when the disabled loo was out of action, the 47-year-old Kenyan-born wheelchair racer was simply unable to hold on. Understandable given the three hour duration of the journey.

Anne is a board member of UK Athletics and has an MBE for services to disability sport, yet even she couldn’t get access to an adequate disabled toilet which is a situation none too scarce for the quarter of a million in need of them.

BBC Breakfast followed Maria Cook, whose son Ryan is severely Autistic, and has been campaigning for 4 years for the funds to create the Changing Places facility that the community sorely needs.

‘Would you walk into a public toilet with bare feet?’ Asks Maria, in a bid to help the general public understand the dilemma she must fight every time she wishes to visit a public space that doesn’t offer a Changing Places. Isolation from so many fun activities for her young son or having no option but to change him on a filthy public toilet floor.

Familiar with this dichotomy is campaigner Dawn Wilson. She highlighted that it is not only useful for toileting and hoisting needs; it offered Josh the opportunity to lie down and rest his spine, which was crucial as it meant he could continue to go out and experience life.

Changing Places didn’t only improve the hygiene and dignity of changing her son, it also prolonged the time he could be out enjoying what the world had to offer.

The Crawley Changing Places will include a changing bench and the OT200 Ceiling Hoist. It is the latest of many of these facilities that OpeMed have installed as the co-sponsors of the Changing Places campaign.

BBC Discuss Upcoming OpeMed Changing Places Project

Maria Cook says of the Crawley Changing Places ‘having this facility gives them their basic human right back; being able to go to the toilet in public, but safely, securely, hygienically and dignified.’

To watch the video, click here.

To find out more about the Changing Places campaign, please click here.

To get your free consultation and to discuss your Changing Places project with us, click here.