Crawley Success as crowd draws for OpeMed Changing Places
County Mall Shopping Centre in Crawley opened it’s first Changing Places toilet last Friday, the 16th of June, as the culmination of years of hard work and tireless campaigning by local mum, carer and Chairman of Autism Support Crawley, Maria Cook.
On behalf of her Autistic son Ryan, and so many others with additional needs that require a Ceiling Hoist and Changing Table in order to use the loo with dignity, Maria has carved a path that many campaigners would wish to emulate.
Her efforts have paid off; the brand new Ryan Box Changing Places is now open for public use which will allow disabled people and their families in and around the area to enjoy days shopping, eating and just relaxing at the mall without the worry of leaving early, finding a suitable toilet or being changed on a filthy toilet floor. The fully compliant facility includes the OT200 Ceiling Hoist on a room covering XY system with permanent charge feature that will ensure the Hoist is always charged and ready for use, along with a Height Adjustable Changing Table, a Height Adjustable Washbasin and a number of other essential items.
Speaking before the grand opening, Maria said “It has taken me over four years to secure a location, secure the funding and have an appropriate facility built, but finally thanks to some wonderful people from the County Mall Shopping Centre, West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and the All Aspex Group I will be so very proud to cut the ribbon and officially open The Ryan Box Changing Places Toilet on Friday June 16. This facility really is life-changing for so many people who will be given their freedom back to engage in a regular activity of going into town, doing some shopping, having some lunch, which the majority of people take for granted and allow them to be toileted safely, hygienically and with dignity.”
Such a milestone was worthy of a celebration, with huge numbers turning up to see Maria cut the ribbon and officially open the Changing Places; even Crawley’s mayor was on hand along with Councillor Peter Smith to give the council’s best wishes.
The excitement is understandable given the effect on disabled people’s day to day lives this toilet will have, and as Maria stated, “No more laying on a toilet floor in Crawley town centre.”
If you would like to find out all about the Changing Places Campaign, click here.
To find out what equipment goes in a Changing Places facility, click here.
To contact us to discuss your Changing Places questions, click here.
To read more about Crawley County Mall Changing Places, click here.