Colchester opens first changing places toilet after 2 year campaign

Essex County Council today opened the first changing places toilet facility in Colchester after a lengthy campaign led by local resident, Scott Everest.

The new changing places facilities located in Colchester Library behind the Trinity Church, have been funded by Essex County Council at a cost of around £20,000.

Officially opened today by the chairman of Essex County Council, Cllr. Aldridge ECC and Cllr. Sue Lissimore (Con) of Prettygate Ward, Colchester.

Colchester Borough Council have agreed to service and maintain the facilities in an agreement with the County.

Changing Places toilet facilities offer people with profound and multiple  learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities extra space and equipment to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably.

Scott Everest, father and campaigner said: “My family and son are so grateful for the changing places facility in Colchester library, my thanks go out to Sue Lissimore my Cllr for securing funding with the Essex County council short breaks team led by the hard working Up Mason.”

“I would also like to thank Colchester Borough Council for agreeing to look after the cleaning and on-going maintenance of the facility.”

“It brings a sense of family life where now, as a family we can all visit town together and address sanitary needs without having to change my son on a cold, hard, wet and urine soaked floor.”

Cllr. Sue Lissimore (Con) Prettygate Ward, has welcomed the installation: “Scott came to me as his local Councillor, as his family could not come in to the town centre for more than an hour.”

“There were no changing facilities for disabled users that offered a hoist and changing bed. I was therefore so proud to help open the new toilet.”

“We continue to work towards a new toilet facility at Prettygate library.”

Changing Places toilets often include a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench and tracking hoist system or mobile hoist and adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers.

Changing Places toilets are different to standard accessible toilets (or “disabled toilets”) and should be provided in addition to accessible toilets.

Information on how to get involved in campaigning for Changing Places toilets is provided on the official Changing Places website.

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