'Total' approach to inclusivity helps take Liverpudlian history into the 21st Century...
ne of Liverpool's oldest sites is the latest to be brought up to 21st Century inclusivity...
The Liverpool City Council-administered Calderstones Park features Neolithic sandstone boulders inscribed with mysterious rock-art petroglyphs and an oak tree reputed to be 1000 years old and which legend has was the setting of a medieval court. The Park is now one of the most disabled-friendly areas in the city with the opening of a sensory garden alongside the special accessible Changing Places toilet by the Park's Georgian mansion.
Funded under the Aiming High programme, the toilet – supplied by Changing Places campaign sponsor Total Hygiene – enables anyone who needs the support of at least one carer to undertake basic personal hygiene when away from home in appropriate facilities. The Calderstone Park toilet compliments Changing Places units at Newsham Park and Croxteth Hall Park, also supplied by Total Hygiene.
Liverpool City Council's Chris Lines explained, "The City is committed to being pioneering, especially in public health: it was the first city to provide public baths and wash-houses, and its Lifehouse project, in partnership with Liverpool Community Health, is the most comprehensive independent living centre in the North West. It is fitting it is now one of the leading local authorities to provide Changing Places toilets."
Larger than a conventional accessible (Document M) toilet, a Changing Places toilet also includes additional equipment of a height adjustable adult sized changing bench, privacy screen and hoist. Liverpool City Council has further optimized suitability for all by incorporating a Closomat Palma 'wash and dry' toilet with touch-sensitive switch. Looking like, and capable of being used as, a conventional WC, the Closomat – manufactured by Total Hygiene – features integral automatic douching and drying, eliminating the need to manually cleanse with toilet tissue, improving hygiene, dignity and independence for the user and their carer. The touch sensitive switch enables the user to operate the toilet by light hand or foot pressure.
Since the Changing Places campaign began over 400 Changing Places toilets have been opened across the UK. In the last 18 months alone, almost 150 Changing Places toilets have been opened at venues across the country, demonstrating the need, and demand.