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Campaign for Changing Places reaches Burton

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

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A CAMPAIGN has been launched to get more facilities improved for disabled people who are unable to use the toilet.

A man who cares for his sister has called for more Changing Places to be set up in the area to provide the necessary space for severely disabled people to be changed by their carers, who often have to lay their loved ones on the floor in a regular disabled toilet.

There is currently one specialist facility in Burton – at Meadowside Leisure Centre – but Tony Clough is calling for more to be put in place.

He told the Mail: “It’s something people are not aware of. If it doesn’t affect you or your loved ones you would not have a clue about it, but the issue is there. You wouldn’t change your baby on a dirty toilet floor, so why an adult?

“A lot of people just don’t realise, but we are determined to make them realise. People don’t have a leg they can stand on to be against it.”

Mr Clough lives in Lichfield, but uses Burton regularly.

Fellow carer Beryl Horton, who lives in Willington and runs the Crest club for disabled people, agreed it was an issue.

“Every time we go out with our severely disabled some we have to think about whether there is a disabled changing room,” she said.

“It’s a nightmare. He goes on school trips and we have to put extra padding on because there’s nowhere to change him.”

Mrs Horton and her husband campaigned for the Changing Place to be installed at Meadowside several years ago, and it has been well used, she said.

However, she added she would like to see more in the town.

Changing Places are large rooms with a height-adjustable bed, hoists, alarm pulls and grab rails, among other things.

Managers at Burton’s shopping centres said they would be happy to look into installing the facilities if the need arose.

Peter Hardingham, from The Octagon, told the Mail he had recently met with Staffordshire County Council to find out more about the scheme.

Further information is available at www.changing-places.org

A spokesman for East Staffordshire Borough Council spoke positively about the scheme.

He added: “East Staffordshire Borough Council has a “Changing Places” standard facility available at the Meadowside Leisure Centre in Burton upon Trent, and is installing an additional Changing Places facility as part of the refurbishment of Uttoxeter Leisure Centre opening in January 2015. There will also be a high specification disabled toilet available in the refurbished Burton Market Hall, opening in Summer 2014. As far as we are aware East Staffordshire Borough Council is the only borough council in the region that provides two Changing Places toilets”.

Further information is available at www.changing-places.org

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