‘LIFE changing’ facilities have been installed in a Leamington shopping centre thanks to two determined mums.
Emily Naismith and Fran Anker – both mums to children with disabilities – called for specially designed toilets at the Royal Priors.
The pair who were struggling with a lack of changing equipment and space, shared their difficulties with other parents and found they were not alone.
And their discovery inspired them to launch the successful ‘No More Floor’ campaign some 18 months ago.
The new facilities include an adjustable changing bench, a hoist system and space for one disabled person and two carers.
Fran whose seven-year-old Benjamin uses a wheelchair, said the facilities would open up many doors for the disabled community.
She added: “In the past I have had to lay my son on a dirty toilet floor and have hurt my back lifting him from his chair. We have changed our children in the backs of our vans and even been told to go home and do it.”
“The new facility now means that we can enjoy family days out like cinema trips, festivals and meals out.”
The campaign was supported by late centre manager Gerry McManus and former Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White who said the determination of Emily and Francesca was inspiring.
Emily – mum to six-year-old Chloe – said: “I’m just over the moon, I really am. We had a really good amount of people that came for the opening, and all of the messages of support we have had have been phenomenal, it’s literally life changing.
“It’s not been an easy journey from a fundraising side of things but Fran and I got there with various grants and bucket shaking.
“Everyone has done a fantastic job not only is it functional but it’s a beautiful space too.
“I’m just a little sad that Gerry wasn’t here to help open it.”
She added she hoped the facilities would eventually be mandatory for establishments across the country.
The facilities will be located on the upper mall near Natwest bank.
Search ‘No More Floor Campaign’ on Facebook for more details.