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New changing places

Published Thursday 18 April, 2024
Last updated on Thursday 18 April, 2024

Black logo, reads: funded by UK Government.

People with multiple and complex disabilities have better access to council leisure centres after Swale Borough Council finished improvements to changing and toilet facilities.

The council has installed accessible changing places at Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne, and the Sheppey Leisure Complex, Sheerness, in the Swimming Pool building.

The works were funded by over £127,000 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities and a further £20,000 from the council.

The changing places are Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) certified and include:

  • height-adjustable, adult-sized changing bench
  • ceiling track hoist system
  • space for the disabled person and two assistants
  • peninsular toilet with space both sides for assistants, with a backrest
  • privacy screen
  • wide paper roll and large waste disposal bin
  • height adjustable washbasin

The council worked closely with the Changing Places Consortium to make sure the new changing places meet the needs of disabled people within the borough.

Cllr Richard Palmer, chair of the community committee, said:

“We want everyone – regardless of ability - to be able to enjoy and benefit from our leisure facilities.

“Having these facilities in our leisure centres not only helps disabled people who use them, but also provides a place people with complex needs can use when visiting the towns.

“They are equipped with all the necessary facilities, such as ceiling hoist systems and adjustable changing benches.

“I visited these changing places and was pleased with the size and quality of the facilities, allowing for two assistants to help disabled people change and use the toilet in a dignified way.

“I would like to thank the government and the partners we consulted, Muscular Dystrophy UK and the Changing Places Consortium, who helped make this important infrastructure possible.”

Jacob Young, the Levelling Up Minister, said:

“I am delighted to see our funding has helped secure new Changing Places toilets in Swale, delivering modern and accessible facilities in areas where they are needed most.

“As part of our mission to level up communities across the country, we are supporting councils to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“Providing these important public facilities is the latest example in how we’re achieving that.”Blue logo, reads: Powered by levelling up.

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