- Category: News & Social
- Published: Monday, 23 January 2017 09:28
- Written by Angela May
- Hits: 518
Venues, retail outlets could significantly increase the number of families visiting, and their length of stay, just by adapting accessible toilet facilities.
A survey by Firefly Community- a group of 20,000 families with children who have special needs- found that:
- 97% of families surveyed said changing their child whilst out and about was a problem.
- 86% had to leave a venue early because of poor toilet facilities
- 100% suffer from back pain (from lifting their child)
- 95% said either a height adjustable or adult-sized changing bench would make their life easier on days out
- 99% would be more likely to visit a venue if it improved its toilet changing facilities.
“The survey speaks for itself,” observes Claire Smyth, who runs Firefly’s Space to Change campaign, for wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities with a changing bench and hoist. “Provide a hoist, bench, and you open your doors to up to 14million disabled children and adults1 in the UK, and their families, who need space, a bench, and/or hoist to toilet away from home.
“Without these, those families either can’t visit, or leave early so spend less with you: that includes everything from doing the weekly shop, a trip to the town or shopping centre, a family meal out, or a tourist attraction. And we know that venues that have made that change are seeing tangible benefits- Cornwall Services, for example, has reported its facility is used daily and it has seen an increase in custom and spend as a result.”
Adds Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Closomat, supporter of the Space to Change campaign, “Even if there is no other toilet provided, venues have to at least have a unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet. Many unisex wheelchair accessible toilets are already big enough to accommodate the bench and hoist: it’s a comparatively small capital equipment spend to add them. Even if they are not already big enough, it only requires an additional 1.6m x 2m of space….”