One of the most frustrating responses I hear as a campaigner for changing places is “we will consider it next time we refurbish our existing toilets.” And I sometimes feel as if that is an even worse response than a straight “No!”
We will work with our construction & procurement teams to review the feasibility of a hoist & changing bench for our new stores & consider this when refurbishing them. We also continue to work closely with shopping centre developers to influence the addition of these facilities.
— John Lewis (@JLcustserv) November 14, 2017
John Lewis is a prime example, they know about the issue and claim they will look to provide changing places toilets as part of other refurbishments. But we’ve been hearing that for over 2 years now and they still have no stores which provide one so how much longer will it take for their stores to be upgraded?
The businesses who give this response clearly understand the need for changing places toilets, they appreciate that without them people are unable to use the toilet in a safe and dignified manner whilst in their property. They know that disabled children are laying on their toilet floors and disabled adults are unable to use a toilet within their shops.
So, it seems strange that they wouldn’t think that those customers comfort and dignity is a reason in itself to refurbish their facilities rather than waiting for the paint to peel. Even though they understand the reality their customers face while they wait for other refurbishment opportunities to arise, they aren’t offering a temporary solution to make things more hygienic for them in the mean time.
Tesco’s is another example of a business which understands the need but while they carry out their ‘trials’ in 3 stores which have a changing places toilet, many customers across the country are left using toilet floors or leaving their stores completely simply to use a toilet.
This is something which is happening within businesses and services across the UK with no end in sight to the discrimination profoundly disabled people are facing when they leave the house.
Well, hopefully things may be about to change! One small business has come up with a temporary solution which shops and venues may be able to offer in the interim period while they wait to refurbish existing stores, or complete works to provide a permanent facility.
MigLoo was originally a temporary changing places style facility which was offered in a tent to be used at outdoor events. But recently the people behind the concept have realised that the problem of a lack of indoor facilities across the UK is huge and needs resolving sooner rather than later.
They are offering a solution to fill the gap between no facility at all and a permanent, all singing, all dancing changing places toilet.
The MigLoo solution can be placed into any lockable room, ideally 9m2 in size or larger, to allow for a turning circle. It includes the two essential pieces of equipment you’d expect, a gantry hoist and large changing bed as well as a washbasin, toilet and privacy screen. In it’s simplest form the MigLoo facility doesn’t even need plumbing or power as it is completely self-sufficient.
Businesses and venues will be able to lease this temporary solution so they can be placed into their existing spaces within weeks. The facility will then be available to customers for a period of time while the venue carry out works to provide a permanent changing places style facility.
The team at MigLoo know that some businesses might see this as a cheap option for a permanent solution so as they are explicit that it is only temporary stop-gap, they will ensure businesses won’t be able to use it for longer than necessary and will need to ensure they provide a permanent facility before their agreement runs out.
I really hope that the introduction of this temporary solution to might help us to make some big changes in 2018 so that disabled people are able to take part in their local communities and can leave the house for longer periods of time without facing the indignity that comes from there being no toilet available for them.
You can help by contacting you local venues and telling them about this option and asking them to provide a temporary solution while they plan and install their permanent facility. If you’d like more information about MigLoo please contact them at www.migloo.co.uk.
What are your thoughts on this solution? Leave a comment below and join in the discussion so we can show businesses how important these facilities are to our families.
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