On 11 May 2018, I will be taking my loo selfie stunt to a whole new level…. by sitting on the toilet in a Bathstore showroom window on Baker Street, London, in full view of the public, pants down, for a whole day! My mission is to raise awareness of the dire conditions that my son, Hadley, and hundreds of thousands of other disabled people face when using the toilet away from home.
Hadley, age seven, has Cerebral Palsy and is a full time wheelchair user. When going out, he is regularly faced with the undignified and unsanitary situation of lying on urine-soaked toilet floors, because standard accessible loos do not meet his needs.
Hadley cannot stand unaided and needs to lie down to have underwear and trousers removed and be lifted onto a toilet. Without facilities, known as Changing Places toilets (with an adult-sized changing bench and hoist) he has no choice but to lie on the loo floor or relieve himself in a nappy and sit in his own bodily waste. It’s heartbreaking for me as his mother and so distressing and dangerous for him!
I will be joined in the window, by special guests from around the country, including; actress and disability rights campaigner, Samantha Renke; Fraser and Friends’, Shelley Simmonds: Department of Ability creator, Dan White; The Mum on a Mission, Laura Moore, and self confessed loo lady Emma Spagnola to name just a few.
It’s shocking that in 2018, disabled people still have to endure this. We need to put a stop to this inhumane situation and encourage venues to upgrade their facilities and become more inclusive.
Toilets are not glamorous. We shy away from talking about pee, poo and periods, so as Changing Places campaigners we have to go to extreme lengths to get our cause noticed. We will all be sitting, pants down, to try to get the full attention this human rights issue deserves.
There are currently only 1093 Changing Places toilets in the whole of the UK (which sounds a lot until you appreciate that Wembley Stadium alone has 2,618 toilets!).
London is one of the worst cities in the country for disabled residents and visitors that need help accessing the loo, with just a few Changing Places toilets in the West End and most only available if you are specifically visiting a building, such as the Houses of Parliament. For many disabled people, London is a no-go zone!
The event will take place at the Bathstore, 95-97 Baker Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 6RN from 10am – 4pm
For further information please contact Sarah Brisdion on 07834 863606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org