Before we had Orange, I thought the fight for accessible toilets had been won. A bit like before I had children, I thought the fight for women’s rights in the workplace had been won. But then Orange grew too big for a baby change table and my eyes were opened to a lifetime of lifting him on and off filthy toilet floors to change him. And that’s while he’s still light enough to lift.
Our Occupational Therapist put me on to the Changing Places campaign back in 2013. A brilliant consortium working to get toilets with a bench and hoist made available in public places all over the UK. They have started to build a map of all the Changing Places loos around the UK. Really handy for when you’re out and about.
Since that time, awareness of the need for toilets with a bench and hoist has grown. A handful of new campaigns has sprung up, each with the same end goal to ensure that disabled people who need a toilet with a bench and hoist can access one wherever they go and aren’t forced to stay at home because there is no suitable toilet. These include the Space to Change campaign from Firefly and the My Changing Place campaign.
Truth is, this is really important. A point will come when we will be housebound as a family if we can’t find suitable loos when we go out. Just like many families already are. It’s not acceptable and I am honestly surprised it hasn’t yet been deemed a contravention of both disability discrimination and human rights laws.
Right now, my focus is on campaigning for toilets with a bench and hoist to be fitted in my local area of South East Cornwall. Because there are none. I am also actively participating in national campaigning to encourage major retailers and public places to install bench and hoist loos, as part of a group of active parent carer bloggers. You can read more about them here: