People with disabilities and their carers are to benefit from new larger, more accessible toilets in several venues across Portsmouth, thanks to match funding awarded to Portsmouth City Council. The first of these projects has been delivered by the in-house Building Services team at the public toilets at the Clarence Esplanade car park, next to The D-Day Story.
People with profound and multiple learning disabilities or with physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. To access all toilets, a RADAR key is required, and they will be open from 7am – 7pm.
Changing Places toilets are designed to enable anyone, regardless of their disability, to go to the shops, attend hospital appointments, enjoy community life, socialise, and travel. This specific Changing Places toilet has a shower facility installed, though this is not a requirement one was installed due to the location.
Alderman John Attrill, Learning Disability Champion at the council said,
“The provision of this facility is most excellent and very helpful for people with a learning disability. The city council should be congratulated making this provision possible.”
There are already four Changing Places toilets in Portsmouth. Recent funding announcements means there will be ten by 2024. In March 2022 the council won funding to install three, in The D-Day Story carpark, Norrish Library and Fratton Community Centre and these will open during 2023. This month the council won further funding for three more Changing Places toilets to be built around the city in 2024 at King George V Playing Fields pavilion, Exploria, and Bransbury Park leisure centre.
Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment Cllr Kimberly Barrett said,
“This toilet is the first in a series of new accessible toilets in the city – we are going to more than double the amount of Changing Places toilets in Portsmouth over the next two years, which is an amazing achievement. This funding is so important in making people with disabilities in the city feel empowered to visit venues in the city, knowing there is an accessible toilet they can use if needed.”
Ross Fairbrother, General Manager of The D-Day Story said,
“We are continuously striving to ensure The D-Day Story is accessible to all and it is great to see that visitors to the museum now have access to a new Changing Places toilet in the D-Day car park directly adjacent to the museum.”
The grant was awarded by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities.
You can find your closest Changing Places toilet around the UK using the changing places map – https://www.changing-places.org/find