Accessibility can be achieved irrespective of space and budgetary constraints, as Closomat have shown in a recent Cornish case study.
The Royal Cornwall Showground, in Wadebridge, is the latest to prove that provision of ‘bigger and better’ wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities, offering more space, and additional equipment, can be practically delivered.
It has opened a Space to Change toilet facility within its existing toilet block by the main exhibition halls at the showground’s Events Centre.
Supplied and installed by Closomat, the Space to Change gives people who need help to ‘go’ when away from home, be it with support of a carer or additional equipment, with an appropriate facility.
It provides a 7.5 square metre space to accommodate the user, wheelchair and carer, plus a peninsular WC with support arms, ceiling track hoist, wall-mounted adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, height adjustable washbasin, and privacy screen. It compliments seven conventional wheelchair-accessible WCs already on site.
Oli Old, showground manager, commented: “It is part of our corporate ethos to provide access for one and all.
“We wanted to improve our accessibility offering. Research online and with other venues persuaded us to use Closomat, for the company’s equipment and experience in the sector.
“It devised a solution so we could refurbish and remodel an existing disabled WC within the toilet block, to create an assisted, accessible WC facility that delivered all the additional space and equipment required, within the available budget.
“It enables people who otherwise would have had to curtail their visit , or not come at all, because of lack of suitable toilets, can now visit, and enjoy any of the 300+ events we offer all year round.”
Claire Haymes, Closomat CDM Compliance & Project Co-Ordinator, added: “Royal Cornwall is the latest venue to prove that many existing wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities can be even more accessible, without significant capital investment.
“They already have a space: they just need the additional equipment. We developed the Space to Change concept in partnership with campaigners for this very reason: it is an acceptable compromise on providing a full Changing Places, which requires more square metres.
“It opens venues to people who are restricted on where they can go, how long they can stay, purely because they cannot use a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet.”
Space to Change toilets plug the gap between conventional (Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013) wheelchair-accessible toilets, and the ‘desirable’, additional, larger and better equipped Changing Places+ toilets.
The concept allows venues that are limited financially and/or in terms of space to meet the needs of up to five million British children and adults who need changing and lifting facilities for their personal hygiene.
It encompasses as a minimum a seven square metre minimum (3m x 2.5m min) wheelchair-accessible toilet, that further includes an adult-sized changing bench and a hoist.
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