Ryan Box Changing Places Toilet
On Friday 16th June, Crawley Town Centre launched a Changing Places community facility at County Mall Shopping Centre, giving thousands of people throughout Crawley, West Sussex and beyond a basic human right back.
At present, there are more than 250,000 people countrywide who require Hoist Assisted Toileting or an adult-size height adjustable changing bench when trying to lead a normal life outside of the home. People living with conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy to name but a few.
Local campaigner and ambassador for Autism Support Crawley, Maria Cook, commented:
“My son Ryan is profoundly Autistic with a significant developmental delay and learning difficulties and he is still in nappies. At present when accessing the community there are no adequate facilities if he needs changing.
This facility really is life-changing for so many people who will be given their freedom back to engage in a regular activity of going into town, doing some shopping and having some lunch, which many people take for granted. It will allow them to be toileted safely, hygienically and with dignity.”
County Mall’s Centre Manager, Mark Haynes, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to announce the launch of the Changing Place at County Mall, the first in Crawley Town Centre and the first shopping centre in West Sussex. After many years of planning and working alongside Maria Cook, Chairperson of Autism Support Crawley, we’re finally able to offer such a necessary changing facility to those with disabilities, giving customers a safe, hygienic place to toilet, with the same dignity and ease as everyone else. We welcome customers to join us in unveiling the new facility.”