18th Sep, 2019

More changing places welcomed by mum of disabled youngster

Laura Kearns 10th Jul, 2019

THE MUM of a wheelchair-bound youngster has welcomed news more disabled-friendly changing places will be opened in Warwickshire.

Emily Naismith has campaigned tirelessly for more changing places to be created across the country.

The mum-of-three from Leamington is often forced to change seven-year-old daughter Chloe, who has cerebral palsy, on toilet floors or in the back of her car due to the lack of changing areas available.

And she was delighted when Warwickshire County Council announced funding for disabled-friendly changing facilities in public buildings.

Currently there are only five changing places in Warwickshire, with two of these in Warwick district – one in the Royal Priors and another in Shire Hall.

The rooms include an adjustable changing bench, a hoist system and space for one disabled person and two carers.

Emily – who has previously taken her campaign to London – said: “Without these changing facilities many disabled people have three options – don’t go out, sit in their own urine or be laid on a disabled toilet floor on someone else’s. It’s hardly ideal.

“There are only two fully registered changing places in the district. Without them families like ours can’t go out for long periods of time, so things like shopping are a nightmare.

“Changing places are definitely the way the county needs to go. It was a shame the new refurbed leisure centres didn’t have one put in when they had chance , but I’m being told that they are now looking to retrospectively put them in.”

The county council says public and private sector buildings can apply for a grant for a changing places room.

Spokesman for adult social care, Coun Les Caborn said: “We are proud to support residents to lead more independent lives by offering this funding opportunity, creating a more accessible environment within our public buildings for people of all abilities.”

Applications are open until Monday September 9. Visit www.csw-jets.co.uk for more information.

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