Tesco installs toilets for people with complex disabilities in first Norfolk store
- Credit: Changing Places
Specialist fully-accessible toilet facilities have been installed at Tesco in Diss, the first store in Norfolk to get upgraded facilities aimed at people with complex disabilities.
The improved toilets come after the supermarket chain committed to working with Changing Places, a national group launched in 2006 to campaign for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.
The new Diss toilet offers a larger area and specialist equipment such as hoists, privacy screen and a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench.
It is the first Tesco in the region to be upgraded as part of a roll-out that so far seen imporvemenst to 35 stores across the UK.
Tesco is the second major retailer to pledge to build more Changing Places toilets. In 2017, IKEA committed to providing Changing Places facilities in all new stores, and to upgrade accessible facilities in selected existing stores.
In January the government announced it would be consulting on making Changing Places toilets mandatory in all new, large public buildings. It also said it would provide £2m of funding for Changing Places toilets in NHS hospitals.
In Norfolk, Changing Places toilets are already in place in Castle Mall and Chapelfield shopping centres in Norwich and at The Troll Cart Wetherspoons pub in Great Yarmouth.
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Rob Burley, director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said: 'Like everyone else, disabled people go shopping, travel to work and meet their friends, but a lack of Changing Places toilets can leave them isolated. By building more Changing Places toilets, we can help to tackle the exclusion they face.'
Tesco's commitment to provide new fully-accessible toilets come after Changing Places campaigner Kerry Thompson visited its Milton Keynes Kingston Extra store to speak to colleagues and explain why the facilities are so important.
Alessandra Bellini, Tesco Chief Customer Officer, said: 'It's clear how import Changing Places toilets are to our customers who need them so we're pleased to have installed these 35 new facilities.
'We treat each store on a case by case basis and wherever possible we will try and accommodate them and help customers such as Kerry.'
Find out more about Changing Places and see a full list of UK facilities