Five years after launching the first Baby Changing Room Awards and sponsoring the National Childbirth Trust Baby Change App, Britain’s leading nappy cream brand Sudocrem is once again pioneering the way with a new category to recognise the importance of Changing Places toilets for disabled children.
Did you know there are 800,000 disabled children in the UK but only 1058 Changing Places toilets to meet their needs. It’s rather disgusting isn’t it?
I have very good friends who’s children need access to these toilets for the specialised facilities but with so few around life is made even more difficult than it should be for them.
This means that parents like Laura Rutherford, whose son Brody, 5, suffers from GDD, epilepsy, hypermobility and hypotonia, is forced to change her son on a toilet floor. “Life beyond a baby changing table when your child is doubly incontinent means constant exclusions when you go out as a family. It’s heart breaking for us as parents and this is an issue that will sadly become harder and harder as he grows up. He is different not less. Time for change.”
You will possibly have seen this article on Sky News about the lack of Changing Places changing rooms only this week and over the Christmas period there was a huge social media campaign using the hashtag #LooAdvent which featured a toilet selfie every day of advent to help to raise awareness of this very important message.
‘Changing Places’ toilets need to be available in all large public venues and places.
A Changing Places facility should be a minimum of 12 square metres and include a ceiling hoist, height-adjustable, adult-sized changing bed, peninsular toilet with space for a carer either side, and where possible, a height-adjustable sink. These facilities should be available in the following places (below) and should be additional to any standard accessible toilets. – www.hardleysheroes.co.uk. Please do read Sarah’s blog to find out more
Since 2012, Sudocrem has campaigned for change with an award scheme to recognise the importance of good nappy changing facilities. Past winners have included Mothercare, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and the National Museums of Scotland.
“From day one, we wanted to show that baby changing rooms are important and often over-looked. We’re proud that our campaign has been recognised and won the OTC Marketing Award 2017. Now we’re ready to tackle the issue of facilities for disabled children by working with the charity PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society) to highlight the Changing Places facilities that organisations such as Arsenal Football Club have put in to make a difference to a wider range of people. It’s all about inspiring people by setting a good example.”
There are three categories for this year’s award scheme:
- Baby Changing Room of the Year
- Dad’s Changing Rooms
- Changing Places Toilet (in association with PAMIS)
Jenny Miller CEO of PAMIS explains, “We are thrilled that Sudocrem have recognized the needs of children with complex needs as they grow too large for baby changing facilities. Children and young people who require these facilities are often prevented from taking part in their communities by the simple things that we take for granted. In 2007 we cofounded the Changing Places Consortium and campaign to develop accessible facilities for the most disabled people in the UK. The Sudocrem award scheme is a great idea and we’re confident it’s going to make a big difference!
If you would like to nominate a changing room for the award, then let us know which facility, why you want to nominate it and preferably include a photo on Facebook via the Sudocrem website www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entries will be judged by the NCT, PAMIS and Sudocrem. The closing date for entries is 31st January 2018 and the winners will be announced by the 9th March 2018.
The winning facilities will receive an engraved plaque. Everyone who nominates their favourite facilities will also be entered in to a prize draw for the chance to win a short break at a family friendly hotel.
I really do urge you all to get onboard with this campaign, by nominating a changing room of your choice and by sharing this far and wide to help raise awareness of such an important issue.
I have very kindly been given a Babymel Frankie Tweed Changing Bag to giveaway to one lucky reader – this prize is worth £58.
For your chance to win, please enter via the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to UK entries only and closes at midnight on 31st January. Good Luck.