Disabled children and adults will be able to access more specially adapted toilets thanks to a campaign by politicians.
Following a £100,000 investment by Falkirk Community Trust in partnership with Falkirk Council, Changing Places facilities are now open to the public at the Mariner Centre in Camelon and Grangemouth Sports Complex.
These purpose built toilets are specially equipped to be used by anyone with complex care needs and are big enough to allow enough space for the person’s carer to assist them in comfort.
Maureen Campbell, the trust’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have created these enhanced facilities within key sports centres. This will enable more people to pursue an active healthy lifestyle whilst enjoying a fun day out with their friends and family.“
MSPs Michael Matheson and Angus MacDonald, along with SNP colleagues, MPs John McNally and Martyn Day, said their campaign to encourage local places to install suitable toilets for disabled children and adults with complex needs received a huge boost with the news three more Changing Place facilities will be opened by Falkirk Council.
They have welcomed a decision to provide these toilets in the new Central and West Advice Hubs following renovations at Falkirk Library and Carronbank House in Denny.
Additionally, upgrading work at Oswald Avenue Day Centre in Grangemouth will include a Changing Places toilet. It’s hoped that this facility, along with the one in Denny, will be accessible 24 hours a day with an electronic key card.
Meanwhile, following an approach from the council, Forth Valley College has agreed to open its Changing Places toilet to the public.
NHS Forth Valley has confirmed that it is planning to convert two disabled toilets in the outpatient department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert into a Changing Places toilet. It will be accessible from the hospital’s main atrium and should be open by the middle of October.
The Scottish Railway Preservation Society also assured the SNP politicians that a Changing Places toilet will be installed as part of a significant development programme at Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.
In a joint statement, the SNP parliamentarians said: “We welcome Falkirk Council, the Community Trust and the Health and Social Care Partnership’s wide-ranging efforts to bring Changing Places toilets to buildings across the district. This will make a huge difference to families with disabled children and adults with complex needs by giving them greater freedom to be out and about in the local area.”
“We’re also delighted by NHS Forth Valley’s commitment to provide a Changing Places toilet at Forth Valley Royal Hospital within months and are grateful that Forth Valley College is making its facility in Falkirk available to the wider public.
“It’s great news, too, that Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway will get a Changing Places toilet in the coming years, which will no doubt make it an even more welcoming attraction for residents of Falkirk district and visitors from further afield.
“We will continue to offer support wherever possible to other local venues who might consider installing such facilities.”
Councillor Fiona Collie, portfolio holder for health and social care, said: “The new toilets will really help those with a disability or impairment both young and old as they offer a larger space and special adaptations that make them far easier to use.
“The toilets allow individuals and families to access these facilities easily without having to worry about compromising their health, safety or dignity.”