New bus stations in Bishop Auckland and Durham will include a Changing Places toilet when they open.
Changing Places toilets are different to standard accessible toilets for many reasons, such as an increased size and extra manoeuvring space. Specialist equipment to aid and support people, such as a ceiling track and hoist, height-adjustable sink and adult-sized changing bench are also provided.
“We are aware that over a quarter of a million people are dependent on these facilities to meet their toileting and care needs and to be able to access a toilet when they leave the house,” says Karen Hoe from the Changing Places Campaign.
Without these facilities people may have to resort to restricting fluid, not knowing if they will be able to access a toilet while they are out.
Last month the Changing Places toilet at Leeds United Football Club’s stadium, Elland Road, became the 2,000th toilet to be added to a national map that the campaign maintains. When the campaign began in 2008 just 13 Changing Places toilets were registered in that first year.
Changing Places toilets are currently available at Tesco in St. Helen Auckland and the Dolphin Centre in Darlington.
Listen: Karen Hoe, Changing Places Manager
The campaign aims to see a Changing Places toilet installed in all public venues so that everyone can use a facility with dignity and hygienically, regardless of access needs or disability.
More information about the campaign can be found on changing-places.org.