June 22, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

New Changing Places toilet makes exploring Cornwall’s countryside accessible for more people

A new Changing Places toilet has opened at Seaton Countryside Park in Deviock, south east Cornwall, making a visit to Cornwall’s countryside and beaches accessible for more people.

A photo of various people who attended the opening of a new Changing Places toilet in south east Cornwall. There are ten people standing in front of the building with a person in a wheelchair at the front, holding a dog on a lead

Cornwall Council has co-ordinated a successful bid for government funding and is working in partnership with several Town and Parish Councils to provide six new Changing Places facilities at various sites across Cornwall.

Cllr Carol Mould, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said:

“It’s fantastic to see another Changing Places toilet open, following the opening of another facility in Porthminster, St Ives, last November.

“More sites are in progress in Falmouth and in Truro and we are working closely with colleagues in Wadebridge and Redruth to make sure sites are developed there too. This will support many people to be able to get out and visit places that a lot of us take for granted.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for adults and social care, Cllr Andy Virr said:

“Changing Places Toilets are fully equipped with a whole range of facilities such as hoists, adult sized changing tables and space for carers so that everybody can go out in the knowledge that if they need to use a toilet they can.

“This project is another step forward to support disabled people and their carers to live as full a life as possible.”

A photo of the new Changing Places toilet in Seaton Countryside park. The image shows a toilet with grab rails, a large spacious room with a mural of a large wave on the wall

Councillor John Croft, Vice Chair of Deviock Parish Council who led the project said:

“Seaton Beach and Countryside Park are wonderful places to visit and the new Changing Places Toilet makes them accessible for many more residents and visitors to enjoy. This has been achieved due to the hard work and support of all parties involved, including Muscular Dystrophy UK and Cornwall Council, our ever-responsive contractors and Karen Pugh, our indefatigable Clerk.”

Local resident Katherine Kowalski said

“Many people don’t realise that standard ‘accessible’ toilets are inaccessible for hundreds of thousands of disabled people, including my 12-year-old son.

“Without a Changing Places Toilet, this means having to be changed on toilet floors or in the back of a car. Not only is this uncomfortable and unhygienic, it puts us all at risk of injury because there is no hoist for lifting. This makes days out incredibly difficult, and often we end up avoiding going out altogether.

“Spending time in nature is essential for wellbeing but there are still so few places where it is possible to do that if you or a family member needs a Changing Places facility. Seaton already offers so much with its flat Country Park trails, convenient parking and ramped access onto the beach – a Changing Places Toilet now makes it truly accessible, and I’d like to thank Deviock Parish Council for making it happen.”

The facility at Seaton is open daily from 8.30am until ‘dusk’. This will normally be 5pm at the earliest during October to April. From May to September, it will be available until 7pm.

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