Accessibility moves into a new level
One of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, intu, is giving a new level of customer experience.
ntu Merry Hill has become the latest retail venue to open a Changing Places assisted accessible toilet, to enable any shoppers who may need help (in terms of carers or equipment) to go to the loo can do so appropriately, and with dignity.
Without such toilets, potentially up to 14million people(*) across the UK who need support either cannot visit a location, have to curtail their trip before they need the toilet, or face remaining in a soiled condition unless they are changed on the floor.
Supplied and installed by Closomat, Britain’s leader in ultra-accessible away from home toilets, intu Merry Hill’s facility is even bigger than the British Standard requirement of 3m x 4m. It has all the fixtures specified in the Standard for Changing Place compliance- including a WC, height adjustable washbasin, ceiling track hoist, adult-sized height adjustable changing bench, a shower, height adjustable shower seat and a privacy screen.
The Changing Places, on the Upper Level near the food court, compliments other accessible toilets strategically positioned around the mall; it is accessible whenever the centre is open, via RADAR key.
The Changing Places facility was officially opened by Neil Davies, chairman at Dudley Voices for Choice, alongside member Sharon Davies, and project worker Claire Allen. Dudley Voices for Choice is a user-led charitable organisation, based in Dudley, that supports people with learning disabilities and autism, many of whom will benefit from the Changing Places facility.
Neil Davies, chairman of Dudley Voices for Choice, said: “The new Changing Places in intu Merry Hill is a welcome addition to the centre, and now people with disabilities can come along and spend the day here knowing that all of their needs can be met in one place.”
Naomi Campbell, community development manager at intu Merry Hill, said: “We want to ensure that we make intu Merry Hill as accessible and inclusive as we can. This important new space will ensure that customers who need access to a Changing Places facility can enjoy a safe and comfortable shopping experience whilst visiting intu Merry Hill. It’s one of several measures which we are introducing, including training our staff, to provide welcoming experiences for all.”