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Council lends support to Changing Places Awareness Day

Permanent lockdown can be the reality for thousands of children and adults with disabilities here who do not have access to toilet facilities with suitable equipment like hoists and changing benches. They often have to go through the indignity of being changed on the floor of a public toilet or stay isolated from their communities at home. 

Mid Ulster District Council is lending its support for this year’s Changing Places Awareness Day, happening on Monday 19 July, to both raise awareness of the need for facilities and to make visitors to the district aware of the provision within Mid Ulster.

A Changing Places facility is a specialist accessible toilet with changing facilities, providing people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, their carers, assistants and families the confidence to enjoy a day out. 

The accessible facility is designed with enough space and equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently. 

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean says:
 

“A lack of Changing Places is no laughing matter for the quarter of a million people in the UK who need them to use a toilet safely and with dignity. Without enough Changing Places toilets, may people cut trips short or don’t leave their home. 

“Since 2019 we have installed a total of four new Changing Places facilities in our district with three more installations in progress, and we’re grateful for a chance to highlight the importance of fully accessible toilets on this Changing Places Awareness Day 2021. 

“We will continue to work to ensure opportunities for much more independence to those living in and visiting our district, allowing families to enjoy more days out together.”


Currently, Changing Places facilities can be found at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory, Round Lake Camping and Caravan site, near Fivemiletown, and Knockmany Forest Park. The facility at Ballyronan Marina will open early August and three more facilities are planned for The Bridewell in Magherafelt, Dungannon Leisure Centre and Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown. 

To find out more about the campaign go to www.changing-places.org. 

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