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Changing Place

In order to make a visit to Bedford town centre more accessible for people with a disability and their carers Bedford Borough Council has installed a ‘Changing Place’ toilet facility, with the space and equipment required by those who are unable to use standard accessible toilets.  The new facility at River Street multi-storey car park has been delivered by Bedford Borough Council in partnership with Bedford Mencap. It will be officially opened by the Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, on Friday 1st July at 10.30am.

 

Bedford’s ‘Changing Place’ toilet is located on the first floor of the car park, close to the disabled persons’ parking spaces, and served by three large lifts. It has an adjustable height changing bench, an overhead tracking system which allows individuals to be moved around the room and an adjustable height hand basin. It is also exceptionally spacious and light.

 

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “We have pursued this project in order to provide a facility which is as practical and convenient as possible for disabled individuals and their carers. With these facilities on offer in such a prime location for town centre visits, we hope to help make such things as a trip to the shops an all together more enjoyable experience. As a Council, we are determined that everyone should be able to go about their daily lives, including using and enjoying the town centre, with as much ease as possible.”

 

Beverley Dawkins OBE, Mencap’s national officer for profound and multiple learning disabilities and co-chair of the Changing Places consortium said: “The impact of a Changing Places toilet on the quality of life for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities is significant. Families who have loved ones with complex care needs often find it difficult to visit their town centre as there aren’t any appropriate facilities for them to spend the whole day out. The addition of a new Changing Places toilet at the River Street car park will enable people with profound and multiple learning disabilities to enjoy a full day out in Bedford rather than limiting their visit to a couple of hours or not being able to go there at all.”

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