A mum who has been campaigning to improve public toilets for disabled people has been left ‘delighted’ after a major retailer has confirmed it will install a changing places facility.
Laura Moore, 40, of Ashurst Close, Goring, has a seven-year-old son, William, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which means he cannot talk or walk and needs to be lifted from his wheelchair and laid down to be changed in toilets.
After battling with a number of chains to install a ‘dignified’ changing places faciltity, her campaigning has finally proved successful, after Next has confirmed it would install one in its brand new Rustington store.
She said: “I was shocked when Next said yes. I did have to check they had not made a mistake but I am delighted that they will be installing these vital facilities. This will make a big difference to families like mine as we will no longer have to cut our trips short purely because of the lack of a usable toilet.”
Next is set to open its doors in the Manor Retail Park off Mill Lane by the end of the year.
The mum-of-one has also had a positive response from Ikea, who hopes to to open its first Sussex store in Lancing in 2019, subject to planning permission.
After requesting a changing places facility, she was told this would be requested in the final plans.
A spokesman from West Sussex Hoist Assisted Toilet Action Group said: “We are very pleased to hear that Next and Ikea have realised the value and business potential of including a fully equipped bench and hoist changing facility in their planned stores.
“These facilities will be a selling feature for many people in the local area who have had to cut short and drive home, risk injury, or experience sadness from trying to change a loved one on a toilet floor of many local large retailers for the most basic of needs.
“We would like to see more businesses follow suit, and install facilities at their next refurbishment, if not sooner.”
An IKEA spokesperson could not confirm whether a changing places facility would be added to the proposed site in Lancing, due to planning permission which has not yet been granted, but said: ”We are continuously looking for new ways to improve our shopping experience. This includes looking at the amenities within them. We welcome customer feedback and use it to discuss how we can develop our accessibility facilities in the future”.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.