Fully accessible public toilet completed in Bracklesham
A fully accessible public toilet is now open in Bracklesham Barn in Bracklesham following a successful bid for funding.
Known as a Changing Places toilet, the facility is specifically designed to meet the needs of disabled children, and adults with complex care needs who need the support of a carer. The facilities have much more space than a conventional accessible toilet and also include specialist equipment.
The facility is one of three extra Changing Places toilets being delivered in the Chichester District following a funding bid submitted by Chichester District Council to the Government's Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities last year.
The project in Bracklesham has been led and managed by East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council. Other projects scheduled to take place are in Midhurst and Selsey.
All Changing Places facilities include a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench; a ceiling hoist to allow safe transfer from a wheelchair; and a peninsular toilet which enables support from both sides. It means the toilet can be used by people with profound disabilities and those with other physical problems such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
Chairman of East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council, Councillor Brian Reeves, says: "This new facility will make a huge difference to visitors who come to our area. It will give disabled people and their carers much more dignity, safety and comfort, and will help take away some of the worry and uncertainty about going out for the day, enabling people to enjoy the day-to-day activities that many of us take for granted."
Councillor Harsha Desai, Chichester District Council's Cabinet Member for Growth and Place, says: "Standard accessible toilets were designed for disabled people who can use the toilet independently and unfortunately are not particularly suitable for children and adults who need more support.
"We're delighted that East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council have progressed this project, it will make such a difference to people's lives. By next April we will have a facility in each main visitor area of the district, which is great news for those who may have been reluctant to travel previously because of concerns about being close to the right facilities."
Chichester District Council already has a Changing Places facility at Northgate car park in Chichester which opened in 2016. Following last year's funding bid, the council was awarded a total of £210,000 to enable further facilities to be delivered.
Changing Places was established in 2005 and is a national initiative that works with a wide range of organisations and businesses to help provide fully accessible toilets. Its ultimate aim is to have fully accessible toilets installed in all big public spaces so that people can access their community easily and with dignity.
To access a map of more than 1,700 Changing Places facilities across the country to plan a journey around them, visit the Changing Places website.
For more information about Chichester District Council's public toilets, please visit the Chichester District Council public toilet webpage.
Date of release: 23 November 2023