I don’t usually take photos of my laundry.
But this wash bothered me because it should not have needed to be washed.
On Thursday we made another of our long journeys to Bristol Children’s Hospital going up and back in one day. We set off at 8:15am and reached home again at 8:45pm.
Adam copes very well with these journeys. I find them very stressful, not due to the procedure he is having but due to the added difficulties we face when travelling.
I am sure that anyone with children is very aware of the particular joys of a long journey with them! They never need to wee at a convenient point, or they somehow seem to manage to not go fully so need to go again shortly after re-joining the motorway.
Motorway service stations are a huge help!
Can you imagine how hard a long journey across the country would be without them?
I don’t need to imagine it.
For us, there are a mere 7 service stations on the entire motorway network with toilets we can all use. Just 7! All because my son cannot stand at all. All because he needs a hoist and a bench. Like hundreds of thousands of other people do!
And only one of those is on our route. 200 miles with just one toilet en route. Would you fancy it? With children!
We usually detour off our route to make use of non-motorway Changing Places toilets but the exit to our regular stop is not signposted on the homeward journey. We didn’t realise we had missed it.
We were at Exeter Services, Adam needed the toilet but there was no point going in. He can’t “go” there!
A quick online search reveals the two nearest ones. One was in a shopping centre in Exeter, the other back the way we just came. Both about 15 minutes away.
Both will add to our journey time and there isn’t time to deliberate. We go with the one which sends us back in the direction from which we just came. We know the route and the parking situation at that one.
Approximately 15 minutes later we reach the toilet.
We didn’t make it in time.
One day, this might be you.
Any one of us can become disabled at any time.
None of us is immune.
If it had been me who had needed the toilet I could have used the one at Exeter Services.
They provide toilets for me.
Am I really more important than a person with disabilities?
I do blame myself too. I should have been thinking ahead. I should have remembered that the exit we needed was not signposted on the southbound journey. I was tired. Sometimes I can’t keep everything in order. I don’t have superpowers. I don’t even have a cape!
Motorway service stations provide facilities which most of us consider to be essential on a long journey and the Chief Executives are all aware of just how important these facilities are. They know they exist.
I have asked Exeter Services to make their toilet facilities accessible.
At “a number of our sites”.
That number is 2.
Surely this is a development opportunity? Should accessibility have to wait till something more important needs doing?
I fear that my comments were forwarded and filed under “Unnecessary“.
They didn’t tell Adam that he matters.
They didn’t want to do better.