“Excuse me, can you tell me where the toilet is?”

Whether in a pub, restaurant, out shopping, at the park or the beach – we all got to go some time.

It might be a loo with metal toilet seats and blue florescent lights which stinks to high heaven (we’ve all been there). Or maybe it’s the luxury of soothing music playing, plush loo roll origami creating a V shape out of the first sheet and the intermittent puff of lavender keeping the air fragrant no matter your business. Wherever it is on the ‘pong – plush’ scale we have all been been there, searching for a toilet at some point.

How often do you worry about whether you can’t find a suitable toilet?

We’re not talking whether there actually IS a toilet. We’re talking about of all the available toilets, when none can give you what you need in order for you to relieve yourself with dignity. Would it change where you go, how long you are out for or create a fog of anxiety worrying that you might get caught out?

There are a quarter of a million people in the UK for whom regular or disabled toilets do not meet their needs. That is 250,000 people who need a Changing Places toilet to enable them to get out and about. To enjoy day-to-day activities most people take for granted. Changing Places toilets have the space for specialist equipment, a height adjustable changing bench and ceiling track hoist, as well as all the usual loo necessities.

A changing places toilet facility with a large changing bench, toilet and bin visible in the photograph. The walls are tiled grey and the floor is tiled white. There is a black and white handbag in the middle of the floor.

To mark the Changing Places awareness day on 19th July 2022, we suggested that people spent the rest of the month only going to places where there was a Changing Places toilet – or else cut the trip short to come home for their comfort break. In a social media post we asked our followers the following thought-provoking questions;

  • What difference would this make to where you take your children this coming summer holiday?
  • Would it make a difference to where you book a meal out with friends?
  • Are you now rethinking where you might go to church or other place of worship?
  • What about that fête you were planning on attending?

And then …

Next year, you can then experiment with only booking your holiday somewhere that also caters for people who need a hoist, changing bench and wet room in their accommodation.

  • How expensive is your holiday to Cornwall now?
  • What are your options for that hotel in Barcelona?
  • In which direction do you drive your car to be sure you have a Changing Places toilet at the service station?

There’s simply not enough … and that’s absolutely potty!

Despite the increasing number of Changing Places toilets, there are still not enough to meet demand. Many areas of the UK don’t have any at all. Without them, some people with a disability have to stay at home or their family carers have to resort to changing them on a dirty toilet floor (yes, even the ones with the metal seats which stink to high heaven).

We need your help to make sure Changing Places toilets are installed in public places

Changing Places toilets open the world up to people with disabilities. Show those people that you value their presence and contribution to your community by championing Changing Places toilets. Let’s create a society where people don’t have to celebrate because they have found a toilet which meets their needs, but rather where the dignity and comfort of going to the toilet is something everyone has a right to.