Flushing away inequalities with £89,250 for new Changing Places toilets in Kirklees

📸 Changing Places

Kirklees Council has secured government funding to support the delivery of three new Changing Places Toilets.

£89,250 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will be used to build new facilities in Dewsbury Market, Mirfield Library and Slaithwaite Civic Hall in partnership with Slaithwaite Civic Hall & Experience Community.

A Changing Places Toilet is an all-in-one facility that caters for the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities or with physical disabilities. Typically 12 meters square in size, it features a toilet that allows space for wheelchair users and their carers; a washbasin that is height adjustable; handrails; privacy curtains; a hoist for wheelchair users and a multi-purpose changing bench. All these features allow users to maintain their dignity and independence when out and about in our towns.

Changing Places facilities make a huge difference to people with disabilities that might need them when out and about.

Councillor Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities said: “Changing Places Toilets are a lifeline for people who often have to choose between going out and staying at home because of their needs. These new facilities will help to create inclusive communities by making our town centre places and spaces accessible for all.

“We are also reviewing existing changing places facilities with a view to upgrading them wherever possible so people can engage in leisure activities.”

Plans to build the new Changing Places Toilets are part of the council’s wider review of existing facilities which will be upgraded wherever possible. This work also aims to tackle inequalities, and create more inclusive spaces and communities whilst enabling adults with disabilities to be more independent in their everyday life.

There is already a Changing Places toilet in Huddersfield town centre, inside the Town Hall on Ramsden Street. The locations of all the Changing Places toilets in the UK can be found here.

Funding to build the new facilities must be spent by March 2024.

Courtesy of Health & Wellbeing | Huddersfield Times