As part of their commitment to continue to develop accessible facilities, Dover District Council is to provide Changing Places toilets as part of new build facilities at Kearsney Abbey and the Dover District Leisure Centre.
To use the toilet in safety and comfort, many people need to be able to access Changing Places facilities, which have more space and the right equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist. The facilities are for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, including people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.
Building works at Kearsney Abbey are set to start on 8 October for the restoration of the Kearsney Abbey Billiards Room and café extension, as part of the £3.1m Heritage Lottery funded Kearsney Parks project. Works include the restoration of the Grade ll listed former billiards room, and the construction of a new extension. The extension will provide a bigger café and new customer toilets, which will be fully accessible, and will include a Changing Places facility.
Carrie Wood, Manager of SNAAP (Special Needs Advisory & Activities Project), said: "The addition of a Changing Places facility will make such a difference to our families and enable them to spend time at Kearsney Abbey without worrying about toileting or changing."
Work is also well underway on the new £26m Dover District Leisure Centre. The centre will feature improvements to accessible changing facilities for pool users, including a Changing Places facility. The centre, which opens in early 2019 will also be the first swimming pool in Kent to feature poolpod platform lifts to improve pool access for people with disabilities and the less mobile.
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, DDC Cabinet Member for Property Management, said: "Many people need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out about. We are very pleased to be able to continue to develop accessible facilities, and to provide these new facilities as part of the major investment in the Kearsney Parks and the new Dover District Leisure Centre."