Brand new Changing Places facility in Pittville Park opens
Published on 8th August 2018
On Friday 10 August, Cheltenham’s first outdoor Changing Places disabled toilet facility will open in Pittville Park, near to the children’s playground and refreshment kiosk.
Research has found that over a quarter of a million severely disabled people, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities do not have access to public toilet facilities that meet their needs. Changing Places toilets are designed specifically for use by people with complex disabilities and provide the three elements key to helping improve accessibility for these people within their community.
The facility, which has been funded by Gloucestershire County Council’s disabled children and young people’s short breaks capital grant, includes an electric ceiling hoist, shower, height adjustable changing table and wash hand basin, toilet and alarm and is accessed using a RADAR key.
The opening times will be the same as the other toilets in the park. Opening times are 7.30am (April-September) and 8am (October-March) and closing from 7.15pm (April to September) and 4.30pm (October to March).
The Changing Places Consortium has registered this facility and it will be featured on the national database from 10 August.
Councillor Chris Coleman, the council's cabinet member for clean and green, said: “We have worked closely with local disability support groups to ensure that this new Changing Places toilet meets the needs of our vulnerable people. This is a much needed facility within the park which will help a number of adults with personal care needs and children with disabilities. We are delighted that this much needed facility will now be open in Cheltenham’s glorious Pittville Park."
The council have also been working to identify a second location for a Changing Places facility within Cheltenham town centre, which is likely to be located close to The Brewery.
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Cheltenham Borough Council made the decision to develop two Changing Places facilities in March 2017 to enable disabled visitors and their carers to have appropriate facilities to support extended access to activities and amenities within Cheltenham.
A grant of £88,000 was secured through the Gloucestershire County Council’s disabled children and young people’s short breaks capital grant to install the first of the two facilities at Pittville Park, supporting disabled visitors of the adjacent, fully accessible, play area.
The location and requirements for the Changing Places facilities was developed through working with from users and support groups in the local area, including people from Betteridge School, National Star College, Leonard Cheshire, St Vincents & St Georges / Phoenix Centre, Carers Gloucestershire, Active Gloucestershire and Cotswold Riding for the Disabled.
The Changing Places toilet at Pittville Park has been built by Future Rooms, with accessibility equipment supplied and fitted by Astor Bannerman, both local companies. Groundworks were undertaken by EW Beard.