Let’s Make Some Noise for Changing Places Awareness Day 2018!

It’s that time of year again!

A time for recognition and reflection. Changing Places Awareness Day, the brainchild of Aveso to boost the profile and periphery of the campaign, has come back around for its third annual occurrence. Thursday July 19th is the official day to celebrate the leaps made by the campaign in the 12 years since its inception and to continue to promote and raise awareness for it.

There are now over 1100 toilets in the UK – pretty impressive! But everyone weighing in on the Awareness Day and egging on the momentum will know that we can do so much better and continue to do so. But it takes people, it takes understanding and that is what this Thursday is all about.

Let's Make Some Noise for Changing Places Awareness Day 2018!

So how are we celebrating this year?

Of course, there will be lots of noise on social media with campaigners shouting and sharing and hashtags to help build the volume. Take selfies with the CP Selfie Kit and talk Changing Places online as an easy way to get involved; take on a challenge and run, cycle or squat for awareness to go the extra mile! Jane and Gillian from Access for all UK planning on climbing Mam Tor Mountain in Derbyshire with a portable Changing Places toilet and offer anyone who wants to join a training session on the CP at the summit.

Access for all UK have also been coordinating with the campaigns abroad to bring Changing Places Awareness Day to the global stage.

Importantly, a press release will be highlighting areas where Changing Places have yet to reach, which will tie in well with the 2017/18 achievement report and the release of next year’s goals for the campaign.

We will also be announcing the winners of the 2017/18 People’s Choice Changing Places Award.

The People’s Choice Changing Places Awards are back again, giving the opportunity for the public to bestow upon the most deserving facilities awards in 3 different categories. As with the past years, the categories are:

  • Overall People’s Choice Award: Best Changing Places Facility 2017/18
  • Most Individual Changing Places Facility
  • Best Signposted Changing Places Facility

What better way to recognise and credit the Changing Places toilets that have made the best impression or had the biggest impact than to offer the judgement to the users of such facilities – those who know exactly which are the most worthy. The PCCPA’s are just that, the people’s choice.

The devils in the detail and below we delve into the reasoning behind each nominated winner; why the voters have selected the particular Changing Places for each category.

Best Signposted Changing Places Facility 2017/18

Winner: Ryan Box Changing Places – County Mall, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 1FP

Found around the corner from the County Mall shopping Centre, the Ryan Box Changing Places provides a Ceiling Hoist, full size Nursing Bench 3000 and height adjustable Washbasin.

Aesthetic but with function at its heart, the 14sqm space has a clean and modern design to showcase the state-of-the-art specialist equipment.

It’s certainly worthy of the label ‘best signposted’, the evidence for which can be seen again and again around the area. Informative sign postage points towards the location of the facility and lets everyone in town know of its existence. Found in front of Crawley station, in the town centre featured on a wway-finder sign post and even a large banner around the corner of the Mall, these are just a few examples of how the Ryan Box CP has been put firmly on the map.

The internal signage is notable as well, with large CP signage on the entrance along with useful information such as opening hours and contact details for getting into the toilet. Inside, there are multiple signs detailing instruction on use of height adjustment and charging the equipment.

Most Individual Changing Places Facility 2017/18

Winner: Inverness Airport Changing Places – Terminal Building, Inverness, Highlands, IV2 7JB

Located in the main terminal building and accessible via radar key, Inverness Airport Changing Places fulfils the equipment recommendations of a CP – Ceiling Hoist, Height Adjustable Changing Table – whilst going far beyond with others. It spans a generous 17sqm, providing ample room for users and carers to manoeuvre the space.

It more than deserves the accolade of Most Individual CP as this facility includes a totally unique sensory area. An entire corner of the room is dedicated to comfortable chairs and sensory soft play along with therapeutic and relaxing coloured lighting. The soothing environment offers the perfect area for those using the facility and their carers to take a time out, which is particularly useful and considerate in an airport, a place that many able-bodied people find stressful at the best of times.

Overall Best Changing Places Facility 2017/18

Winner: Sandcastle Waterpark – South Beach, Blackpool, FY4 1BB

This Changing Places hardly requires an introduction – it already had one back in when it won the PCCPA in 2015! Sandcastle Water Park is the UKs largest indoor waterpark and is making waves with its Access for All ethos, one that has clearly grown all the stronger in the 3 years since their last win; they have won several other awards praising their commitment to inclusivity.

The facility ticks all boxes, offering a Ceiling Hoist, adult-sized mobile Shower Trolley and height adjustable Washbasin as well as a charming and colourful jungle themed mural throughout the whole room.

It isn’t solely the Changing Places facility that makes Sandcastle a worthy double-winner. Level access across the car park, reception, changing areas to the poolside, sensory story and quiet room, free to use water-wheelchairs and poolside hoist all contribute to ensure guests are not unable to access any part of the park.

But the real cherry? Continually mentioned by voters, the staff – aside from being well trained in these specific areas – all display a fantastic attitude towards disabled visitors inclusion, making sure they feel welcome and that they have access to all the experiences Sandcastle can offer.

Keen to hop on the bandwagon and see a Changing Places somewhere that needs one in your local area? Support your community and help keep the momentum of Changing Places Awareness Day!

Check out our Changing Places equipment guide or download our free Changing Places Guide booklet – this handy little guide offers a clear overview, explaining the campaign and its importance for those who have just been introduced to Changing Places as well as seeking to clarify the updated BS8300 Standard, in order for those building or campaigning for Changing Places to glean as much crucial information from these necessary guidelines as possible, with minimal effort.

Get in touch today to speak to our Product Specialist regarding Changing Places. Have a project in the wings? Arrange a consultation