St. John's Changing Places toilet far from 'bog-standard'

Changing Places toilet

St. John's Church is believed to be the first to open a fully accessible Changing Places toilet for both adults and children with a range of disabilities.

The vicar, Rev Paul Tudge, was inspired to install the facility after a visit to the London Paralympics with his wife Rosie. They both have two sons with disbilities.

Changing Places facilities offer much more than a standard disabled toilet. The one at St. John's has an adult-sized changing table and a shower along with plenty of space around the toilet itself.

It was installed at a cost of around £35,000 as part of a series of works to make the church more accessible and welcoming and is accessible from outside the church to users with a RADAR key.

Most city centres have similar toilets but St. John's is believed to be the first Church of England church to have one available 24 hours a day. Prominent signs have been put up so members of the community know it is available for use.

Describing the facility as far from 'bog standard', Mrs. Tudge says, "A Changing Places Toilet and a standard dis­abled toilet couldn’t be more differ­ent: if you are confined to a wheel­chair, it is impossible to lift yourself out in a standard toilet. . . Our new loo has an electric table that goes up and down to change children and adults, and a hoist, and there is a room for a person in a wheelchair and a carer."

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