Most of our toilets are wheelchair accessible, but as we pioneered accessibility in all our centres, they’re getting on a bit! Installing a changing bench and a hoist in a toilet isn't difficult; difficult is having to sit in your bodily waste or lie in someone else’s to have a nappy or pad changed; difficult is lifting somebody from a wheelchair, trying desperately not to drop them or injure yourself; difficult is watching a loved one endure any of this.
Now, thanks to the wonderful response to our recent appeal, we’re getting ready to install a new accredited Changing Places toilet at the QEF Mobility Centre in Carshalton. This will include a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench and a tracking hoist system. We’re also going to be able to upgrade and refurbish five more accessible loos, as well as the loo used by our committed staff and volunteers, many of whom are also disabled.
Toilets and changing rooms can be just as transformative as specially adapted cars or bespoke solutions. By providing properly equipped facilities - in particular, a Changing Places toilet - we can open the door to new opportunities, independence and freedom for all disabled people.
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While some UK charities have hundreds of thousands of people to call on, QEF relies on just 16,000 or so friends and supporters who enable us to help around 5,000 disabled children and adults every year. That’s an incredible one person helped by each four supporters – so you can see how what a vital role you play.