All change at national trust
One of The National Trust’s most popular places is about to become even more popular- it now has space to change.
The team at Dunham Massey in Greater Manchester has thought ‘outside the box’ to enable creation of an accessible toilet with changing bench and hoist. It’s the result of strategic partnering with The David Brooke Charity, Stockdales, Disability Stockport and Closomat.
Dunham Massey receives more than 350,000 visitors a year, making it one of The National Trust’s top 10 most popular properties. The new facility opens the estate’s doors to the huge number of people who need extra support in their toileting needs.
The toilet, located at the property’s Visitor Centre adjacent to the car park, compliments Dunham’s conventional ambulant and wheelchair-accessible toilets, in the Visitor Centre, Stable block and Stables restaurant. It features a Closomat Palma Vita wash & dry (shower) toilet, ceiling track hoist and full-sized changing bench, all supplied by Manchester-based Closomat.
“The new room will be so appreciated by visitors who need to use it,” says Helen Matthew, Dunham Massey Visitor & Commercial Operations Manager. “Such facilities are something we have wanted to provide for a while, and have only been made possible by the support of our stakeholders who have worked with us throughout the project.”
Heather Smith, National Trust Equality Specialist, says ‘I am extremely pleased to see this Space to Change in place at Dunham Massey. As an organisation, we are aware of the importance of Changing Places and Space to Change facilities. We have made some progress in providing these facilities, for example at Shugborough Estate and at Attingham Park, and I am looking forward to seeing this number grow in line with our accessibility work as we endeavour to be ‘for ever, for everyone’.
The David Brooke Charity has a long association with Stockdales, a local charity supporting children and adults with learning disabilities. Stockdales told their contacts at the David Brooke Charity that visits to Dunham Massey had to be relatively short as the disabled facilities were not adequate for the complex needs of their residents.
Matthew Brooke, Trustee of the David Brooke Charity, was aware that disabled facilities at venues were often not suitable for disabled people, and contacted both Stockdales and the National Trust at Dunham Massey to initiate the project.
‘We were delighted to be involved with this amazing and invaluable project’, says Natalie James of local charity Stockdales. ‘The new facilities mean people with disabilities can now visit beautiful Dunham Massey knowing the all-important changing facilities are at hand. Special thanks to the David Brooke Charity, The National Trust and Closomat for making this much needed difference.’