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Changing Places to achieve efficient ‘best practice’ delivery of youth services

Bolton Council is demonstrating it is possible to deliver more, cost-effectively, in the face of lost facilities....

Barlow Park

As a result, children and young people up to the age of 19 can enjoy out-of-school activities to build their skills and develop confidence- regardless of their abilitiesright through to using the bathroom.

The achievement is because the Council's youth and play service lost the use of a school, prompting an evaluation of how to deliver the same, or improved, service.

The decision was made to improve the existing Barlow Park Youth Centre with fully accessible facilities, rather than pay rent to other organisations for appropriate room hire. The accessible facilities extend right through to inclusion of a new accessible, assisted Changing Places toilet, 'bigger and better;' than a conventional wheelchairaccessible washroom, designed by Bolton architects Bradshaw Gass & Hope, and supplied and installed by Closomat, Britain's leading provider of disabled toileting solutions.

Area team leader for 5-19s Service Carla Lord explained, "We have some children and young people who require intimate care and need everything from just a little support to use the bathroom to a hoist. We like to make sure that we are offering the most up to date facilities to maintain the children's dignity and promote their independence and self-help skills."

Added Kelvin Grimes, Closomat's Changing Places project manager, "Under new law, it is now desirable in buildings to which the public have access to include a Changing Places toilet.

"Barlow Park is one of the first play centres in the NorthWest to adopt this 'best practice' philosophy, enabling the country's growing number of disabled young people to participate in things others take for granted. The number of disabled children in the UK has increased over 60% in the past 25 years, so their needs are now a major consideration in any youth or public facility."

Closomat is the UK's biggest manufacturer and supplier of disabled toileting solutions, and the most experienced in provision of hygiene rooms and Changing Places accessible toilets. Its website (www.clos-o-mat.com) has the most comprehensive range of useful information on the need for and specification of disabled toilet facilities.

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