Dignified Changing for Everyone Anywhere…
Accessible toilets are always seen when out and about (and rightly so). But sadly, although the Changing Places campaign is going from strength to strength, we still don’t see these toilet and changing facilities in all public places yet.
There are currently just over 770 Changing Places in the UK which are toilet facilities with a mobile or ceiling hoist and an adult changing bench with enough room for a wheelchair and up to 2 assistants. They are much needed for approximately 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people and many more.
As manufacturers of specialist changing tables and patient hoists, Astor-Bannerman are co-sponsor of the Changing Places campaign (Aveso Ltd) and we help with advice and planning of Changing Places every day. We often face many challenges with spaces such as low ceilings, small rooms, false walls and much more which means that sometimes installing a full and permanent Changing Places can be extremely difficult. Due to our years of experience and expertise, there are almost always solutions which can be found however, there are occasionally times when a fixed Changing Places facility is not possible, for example a pop up gig or music festival. Everyone has the right to go to these events but unfortunately they are not always very accessible and toilets are often a huge problem.
That is until the launch of the Mobiloo exactly a year ago today on 27thNovember 2014!
The Gloucestershire based Mobiloo is a mobile toilet facility complete with basin, ceiling hoist and wall mounted adult changing bench. Astor-Bannerman had the great pleasure in donating and installing equipment for the Mobiloo project so that they can travel around the UK and make events more accessible. In just 12 months the Mobiloo has grown from strength to strength and is unique in that organisations or event organisers can hire the Changing Places facility to make a particular private or public attraction more accessible, such as at the launch of Why Not People earlier this year. The Mobiloo also help families with a need for a hoisting and changing and hire the unit for them to self-drive wherever they want to go, so they always have everything they need for a dignified and accessible day out.
As Christine Lenehan, the Director at the Council for Disabled Children explains;
“The basic dignity of disabled people’s lives is often compromised by a lack of access to appropriate toileting facilities. The Mobiloo approach brings that dignity and underlines the fundamental belief that disabled people should be able to participate in all areas of life.”
The whole team at Astor-Bannerman are so proud to have been involved from the concept stage to installation and promotion of this incredible initiative and our Nivano adult changing bench has proved to be a huge success.
Philip Douch, Mobiloo Development Manager told Astor-Bannerman;
“We are delighted to let you know that the Mobiloo has completed its first ‘spring/summer season’. It was out and about on 30 occasions, which was a great start to its life. More importantly, all the disabled people and their families who have used it seem to love it and we are now looking to double the number of bookings in 2016-17. From time to time we hear from people who are wondering if there might be a Mobiloo in their part of the country. If anyone has tthe interest, motivation and time amongst a group of people to set one up where they live, we are nearing the stage of development when we could look to establish one or more other Mobiloos.”
Our hope is that, one day soon, there will be a whole fleet of Mobiloo mobile Changing Places units dotted all over the UK and events will always have fully accessible Changing Places toilets available.
To find more about the Mobiloo and see a video of it in action visit www.mobiloo.org.uk
If you would like to see how Astor-Bannerman can help with your assisted bathing, changing and toileting needs, contact one of our experts today.