West Sussex town now has larger accessible toilets for disabled people

Larger accessible toilets for disabled people have been officially opened in Arundel.

An event was held this week to officially open the new Changing Places Toilet at Crown Yard in Arundel.

Attendees at the ceremony included Arundel Mayor Tony Hunt and Arun District Council chairman, Alison Cooper.

They were joined by members of The Point, a day centre for severely disabled adults in Chichester, who ‘gave the new facilities the thumbs-up’.

Speaking at the opening event on Tuesday (May 7), councillor Cooper said: “The council is pleased to announce the opening of the refurbished toilets here at Crown Yard, Arundel. This project has incorporated a Changing Places toilet.

“Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for disabled people, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space

for carers.

“Over a quarter of a million people in the UK require these Changing Places facilities to enable them to get outside and enjoy activities many people take for granted."

This is the fifth Changing Places toilet to be installed in the Arun district. There are others at The Wave Leisure Centre, Littlehampton, Arun Leisure Centre, Bognor Regis, The Wildfowl and Wetland Centre, Arundel, and The Street in Rustington.

A further three are planned for Hotham Park, Bognor Regis, Littlehampton Seafront, and the Alexandra Theatre transformation, the council said.

Councillor Cooper added: “The council was awarded £227,000 grant funding towards these facilities. This has been match-funded by the council at a cost of over £300,000.

"We would like to thank The Wildfowl and Wetland Centre and Rustington Parish Council for their match funding towards their facilities. We would also like to thank Arundel Town Council for their ongoing contributions to the upkeep of this new facility at Crown Yard. Lastly, we would like to thank Nat Slade’s team, especially Lloyd Wilson and Helen Cooper for overseeing this project.”

A big thank you was also given to contractor BCS Robertson Ltd and consultants Sloan and Brown Ltd.

Lisa, from The Point – which has four buses to take its members on outings – said: “The new Changing Places toilets are going to be fantastic for our members. There’s lots of places we can’t visit because they don’t have the facilities, so seeing these up and running is great.”

Carol Birch, ward member for Arundel and Walberton and chairman of the housing and wellbeing committee at Arun District Council, said: “I’m so pleased to be here today to help open these facilities.

"We were delighted that members from The Point were able to join us and it was great to hear what a difference it will make to them.

"It’s great that Arundel is now on the map when it comes to Changing Places toilets and can offer a warm welcome to all those who rely on these facilities in order to enjoy a day out.”

Sue Wallsgrove, chairman of the environment committee, said Changing Places facilities are ‘vital’ to allow people with certain disabilities to ‘live a more fulfilling life’ as they often find their needs are ‘not being met with standard toilets’.

She added: “We know that parents and carers have been faced with changing children and adults on toilet floors or in the back of mobility vehicles – or even feeling like going out is too difficult due to a lack of suitable toilet facilities – so we want to provide as many Changing Places Toilets in the district as possible to support them.”

A new defibrillator has been fitted on the outside wall of the toilet block.

The toilets at Crown Yard and the ones due to open in Hotham Park require a fob for access. To acquire one, please contact [email protected] or call 01903 737754.

To find out more about Changing Places toilets, or to locate a facility, visit www.changing-places.org.

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