Tony Clough has been appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his voluntary campaigning efforts to address the lack of wheelchair accessible toilet facilities which can accommodate both the user and their carer.
Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and now residing in Lichfield, Tony’s campaign began after seeing his mother Margaret struggle to meet his severely disabled sister Julie’s needs when they were away from home.
Now aged 38, Tony has been campaigning for much of his adult life to encourage communities to provide wheelchair accessible toilets that can accommodate the user and their carer, in addition to a changing bench and a hoist – a ‘Changing Places’ toilet as they are now known.
Tony commented: “I am humbled that my work has been recognised with such an honour. Seeing Mum and Julie struggle on a daily basis to do even a weekly food shop, or go anywhere for more than an hour or two, inspires me to keep campaigning.
Hopefully, I can use the honour to help raise awareness, open more doors, and change the law so that every public building or venue has a wheelchair-accessible toilet, adult-sized changing bench and hoist.”
Over 840 Changing Places facilities are now open across the UK, meaning up to 5 million people with special needs and disabilities to go through their everyday lives without having to think about how and where they can use the toilet in a dignified fashion.
Fellow campaigner Martin Emery added: “Tony Clough has been campaigning for Changing Places since the idea was first put out there. In that time Tony has contacted countless companies. He has been instrumental in the success of campaigns, including my own campaign to get Changing Places at Old Trafford.
Tony was the first person to ask Manchester United for these facilities, and when he saw my campaign sent details of the emails he had sent over the last 3 years. Those emails, and the United Discriminate campaign got the changes made, and a Changing Places facility is now in place at Old Trafford.
Tony is one of those guys, that says I can do that, and will. He never takes no for an answer, and knows a fob off when he is sent one. Changing Places wouldn’t be where it is today without Tony.”
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