Changing Places for 21st Century Shopping
Published by Angela May for Clos-o-Mat in Communities
The Changing Places toilet in The Malls
A thirty- years old shopping centre is now delivering a 21st century experience- right through to customer facilities.
Basingstoke & Dean Borough Council has upgraded The Malls, originally opened in 1981 as part of its master plan to rejuvenate the town centre. Key elements of the upgrade to make the Centre more welcoming were redesign and replacement of old canopies and re-organisation and improvement of facilities. As a result, a whole new toilet block has been built in a more convenient location, and the toilet facilities enhanced to include a special accessible Changing Places toilet.
Leading UK disabled toilet provider Total Hygiene- sponsor of the Changing Places campaign- designed and installed the Changing Places toilet. Larger than a conventional accessible toilet, a Changing Places toilet is designed to cater for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and other severe disabilities who need the help of at least one carer, and includes as standard a peninsular toilet, changing bench and hoist.
In its desire to optimise The Malls’ suitability for all, the Council has further specified inclusion of a Clos-o-Mat Palma ‘wash and dry’ toilet, with a touch sensitive hand switch and soft seat, in the Changing Places facility. The Clos-o-Mat looks like a traditional toilet but with its integral douche and drier eliminates the need for user or carer to manually cleanse after toileting, improving dignity, privacy and hygiene.
Peter Gunner, The Malls project manager, explained, “In our extensive public consultation, it was stressed to us the need for proper provision of facilities such as toilets, hence our decision to create new toilets by the lift for optimum access and to include a Changing Places toilet.
“There is already a Changing Places toilet in the town’s Discovery Centre, demonstrating our commitment to meeting the needs of the growing number of disabled people in the UK*; the popularity of that reinforced the need for one to be included in The Malls too, to make our town as accessible as possible, to ensure its continuing vitality and viability.”
Already over 400 Changing Places toilets have been installed across the UK, enabling disabled people to participate in day-to-day life, through the efforts of the Changing Places campaign, sponsored by leading disabled toileting solutions provider Total Hygiene.