This afternoon I received telephone call from one of the Directors at Lands End.
Contact at long last is good and I am pleased that they responded but I still feel that there is a lack of true understanding. (that might just be me, after all, I do feel this deeply)
He did apologise that I felt that the response was inadequate. (It was. It was not just my feeling!)
He did agree that things should have happened differently and that working together is the way forward.
They did instigate a disability audit by Disability Cornwall and Isles of Scilly about a month before our visit and are awaiting information from them. They have also viewed the Space to Change toilet at Cornwall Services and are attending Access all Areas in October to learn more.
He was keen to stress that they can’t do anything to the current toilet (clearly not, it is way too small) couldn’t do anything over the summer and mentioned how they couldn’t respond to one person in a “knee-jerk reaction” and that it has to be done in a “planned manner”.
He did say that comments online should not have been deleted. Discussion should have happened and that there is a possibility that toilets in the restaurant could be adapted.
He did not say that they really want to do it though. That is what I hoped to hear.
I accept that they have old buildings and that there may be planning issues and structural changes which are likely to be needed.
None of those things are harder than being physically disabled and unable to access a toilet though. None of those things are more difficult than having to leave a local attraction without experiencing it. None of those things are impossible. Using the toilet at Lands End is, for many, impossible.
Maybe they are not good with emotional responses? Maybe they are just struggling to find a way? Maybe they really do mean it and they will pull out all the stops to ensure that nobody is excluded in the future?
So I am going to choose to hear his comments as ‘We are really sorry that your family had to leave and we are truly sorry at our awful response to your effort to tell us what could help. We are saddened to realise that so many people just cannot access our attraction and we truly want to change this. We have already started looking into the types of equipment available and are looking into how we can alter buildings to accommodate this. We want to get this right and we will aim to have things in place by next summer.’
Wouldn’t that have been simpler?
I will trust them to do better. After all, everybody deserves another chance to show that they care.
Thank you, Lands End, for agreeing to look into this. I realise that I probably seem like a nuisance to you, but this really does matter.
So how about a little advance notice of a plan to visit?
Next year I shall eagerly await the summer events and I shall be keen to come to Children’s Day 2017, WITH MY CHILD.
We will bring friends!
We have a lot of friends who also depend on toilet facilities with a hoist and bench. We also have a few friends who use powered wheelchairs and depend on adequate space to get their chair positioned beside the toilet in order to use it independently. Our friends also have friends…
They would all love to spend their pounds with you too, and they will, once they can “spend a penny”.
This is not a one person issue.