News release from: 09/02/2024
New Changing Places toilet opens at Imperial War Museum Duxford
A Changing Places toilet has opened at Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford providing extra space and specialist equipment for visitors with profound or multiple disabilities.
It is only the third Changing Places toilet in South Cambridgeshire, providing additional disabled-friendly features like an adult size changing bed and a hoist for safe lifting.
IWM Duxford was inspired to set up the specialist toilet space following a visit by Peterborough-based charity, Little Miracles, who support families with children with additional needs and life limiting health conditions.
The museum approached South Cambridgeshire District Council who secured £120,000 of funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, as part of £30 million earmarked by the government to increase the number of Changing Places toilets across the country.
Bill Handley, Lead Cabinet Member for Communities for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We are delighted that the District Council has been able to play a part in helping set up this new Changes Places toilet at IWM Duxford. These toilets are vital as they enable anyone, regardless of their disability, to go to the shops, attend hospital appointments, enjoy community life, socialise, and travel - all the things that most of us take for granted every day.”
Laura Crean, Assistant Director, Strategy and Governance, said: “At IWM we are committed to removing and reducing barriers so that our branches are open and accessible for everyone. This new facility at IWM Duxford will ensure that we have high quality, clean and safe facilities which will substantially improve the visitor experience and move IWM Duxford one step forward to reducing those barriers. We’re very grateful to South Cambridgeshire District Council for their support with this project and to Little Miracles for their invaluable feedback.”
Established in 2005, the Changing Places campaign wants Changing Places toilets to be installed in all big public spaces so that people can access their community and use a toilet facility with dignity and hygienically. Changing Places toilets are provided in addition to, and not in place of, standard disabled toilets.
An estimated 240,000 people are unable to use standard toilets, according to the campaign consortium, with the number increasing rapidly. People who require a Changing Places toilet include those with profound and multiple disabilities whether physical or learning, such as muscle-wasting conditions, cerebral palsy, or those who have suffered major physical trauma, or a stroke.
Muscular Dystrophy UK is co-chair of the Changing Places Consortium which includes Pamis, and Centre for Accessible Environments. They want Changing Places toilets to become a mandatory requirement under Building regulations for all large public places, like shopping centres, major leisure venues. hospitals, transport hubs, motorway services and airports.
- Find your nearest Changing Places toilet via the Changing Places map
- The other Changing Places toilets in South Cambridgeshire are at Bar Hill Tesco and the Extra Cambridge Services on the A14/M11. Opening soon will be the facility at the Western Park Pavillion in Northstowe.
The new Duxford facility adds to more than 1,937 Changing Places toilets in the UK.