Total approach helps community centre open for all

A total approach to inclusivity is making a community centre truly open for all.

Southampton City Council has developed a partnership with Woolston Community Association whereby the Council has funded refurbishment and extensions to the area’s Community Centre to provide facilities for local people, and a new venue for the Council’s adult day services. A key element of the facilities now provided at the Centre is a Changing Places accessible toilet, supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat.

Sue Harris, Southampton City Council’s day services manager expalins:

“It’s a win: win situation, we have done a lot of work over the past 10 years to move services out of segregated units and into the community, and ensuring all our clients’ needs are accommodated.”

“Installing a Changing Places toilet was vital, as we work with people with complex needs, and one of the aims of the refurbishment was to encourage new users to the Community Centre. The Changing Places toilet means anyone who needs the help of a carer can relax and enjoy themselves at the centre, knowing there are appropriate toilet facilities. We also included a Clos-o-Mat toilet, to make it as fully accessible as possible, giving anyone with a disability dignity and independence.”

The Changing Places toilet at Woolston is the fourth to be installed by the Council, and has a height adjustable adult sized changing bench, hoist, height adjustable washbasin, and Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita ‘wash and dry’ (automatic) toilet with touch sensitive switch. The Clos-o-Mat can be used as a conventional toilet but also can wash and dry the user after toileting without the need for the user, or their carer, to wipe clean with toilet tissue, thus improving hygiene, independence and dignity. The touch sensitive switch means that someone with limited manual strength can still operate the toilet without help.

Since the Changing Places campaign began over 450 Changing Places toilets have been opened across the UK. In the last 18 months alone, over 100 Changing Places toilets have been opened at venues across the country. Uniquely, the company can deliver in-house design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of all the equipment required as standard specification for a Changing Places toilet, and additional fixtures, such as the Clos-o-Mat toilet.