A recent Government funding award will mean that three new Changing Places Toilets will be installed across the borough
These will provide much needed facilities for residents and visitors who have profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as disabilities that severely limit their mobility.
Standard accessible toilets are often not suitable for those with special needs. Changing Places Toilets (CPTs) will address this by providing specialist equipment such as a hoist, height adjustable changing table, adjustable washbasin, fully accessible toilet, privacy screen and grab rails. Support is also being provided by Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) to ensure the best possible provision.
Funding to the tune of £167,000 has been secured from the Changing Places Fund Round 2 to support three new CPTs at locations identified as having the most need for these facilities. Local consultations with partners and voluntary organisations have helped to identify locations where people will benefit the most, with the CPTs being installed at: Reddish Vale Country Park, Cheadle Leisure Centre and Hazel Grove Leisure Centre.
Reddish Park is a well-used green space and an asset to many Special Education Needs SEN schools and less mobile users of the Trans Pennine Trail. The two leisure centres will be able to increase their provision to people with special needs and disabilities, tapping into over 50% of people with needs who find it impossible to take part in leisure and sport activities due to the absence of adequate facilities suitable for their needs.
Cllr Grace Baynham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Parks and Leisure Services said: “This funding is fantastic news coming on the back of Stockport’s Round 1 CPT award last year These will make a huge difference to people’s lives, enabling those with the most needs to take full part in our leisure offer, extending their stay and promoting user dignity.”
Ian Dixon, Head of Operations for Life Leisure, who will manage the CPTs in Leisure Centres, said: “We are delighted and proud to provide these much needed facilities at our Cheadle and Hazel Grove sites.
“Life Leisure’s mission is to promote a healthier and more active community through physical activity, providing a range of community programmes for all abilities. This additional provision is an important step to ensure we can welcome and support even more members of our community.”
In total, eight new CPTs are planned across the borough. Round 1 of Changing Places Fund secured £142,000 for CPTs at Vernon Park Café, Avondale Leisure Centre and Etherow Country Park café. Additionally, two CPTs are being provided in the town centre as part of the new Transport Interchange and Stockroom in Merseyway Shopping Centre. Both of these schemes are currently on site.
For more information about Changing Places toilets visit https://www.changing-places.org/