The Wanted

Remember when you had a baby or toddler and sometimes had some funny looks sent your way?

Like you shouldn’t still eat out in a restaurant? Or try to shop for new clothes with a pushchair?

I get those looks a lot, only my son is 10.

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Not everyone welcomes you.

Sometimes it is in the first expression.

Sometimes it becomes obvious when you ask for something to be moved to enable you to access a table, or if you ask for a different table because the legs on this one are not spaced far enough to get the wheelchair in close enough.

Then it really shows when you explain that you couldn’t use the “disabled toilet” because it wasn’t big enough. If “nobody else has complained” then I must just be being awkward.

And when you ask them to consider changing their facilities to include something extra, that is when it can hit you squarely that they don’t really want you at all.

At Cornwall Services though, it was different. As soon as they knew that some people need a toilet facility with a changing bench and ceiling hoist, they wanted to do it.

So they did. And they have been rightly proud of it.

It isn’t the largest one, but it is making a massive difference.

In just 4 months they have had over 100 families who have told them that the only reason they stopped there was because they knew that they could, just because of that toilet with a changing bench and ceiling hoist. Two pieces of equipment have made such a difference to so many.

We popped in this week and were thrilled to see that they have added the Changing Places sign to the totems outside.

The manager realises that these facilities are not everywhere and he now knows how many people were previously not coming in because they had no expectation that they would be wanted and provided for. So he made sure that people know it is there as soon as they arrive.

Isn’t that awesome?

It is. Yet I also feel a little bit sad that we have such amazement. Do you feel excitement when there are toilets at a service station? Or do you just expect that they will be there?

The reaction of Alex Lawson (Manager) and the rest of the management team at Cornwall Services should be the standard. No person should feel that they don’t matter, just because they need two pieces of equipment to enable them to use the toilet.

I love seeing this sign each time we leave.

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Because I know they mean it.

They are glad that we stopped by and they really do want to see us again.

I wish more places wanted us.

 

 

 

 

 

19 thoughts on “The Wanted

  1. I didn’t realise you were a Cornish girl! I grew up there and my family are still there (it’s just me in the US) My Mum, sister and sister-in-law are all community carers in Cornwall so are very in tune with facilities. I’m glad someone’s doing it right 🙂 #TribalLove

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes, you can’t get me out of Cornwall easily!

      It is really hard going out when you have access needs regarding a toilet. It is going to get better though, I don’t give up easily!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good on Cornwall services! Should be more widely available. Keep fighting the good fight- who cares if people are uncomfortable about it or annoyed by it. They’d be more annoyed if they were unable to use a toilet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I can imagine the outcry if a theme park, restaurant, football stadium, theatre or service station had no toilets at all! That is our reality.

      Strangely, some places put one in but don’t signpost it. So nobody knows it is there. As far as I know, this is the only service station which advertises it outside the building.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. There is a comment on the Changing Places Facebook page today from a woman who couldn’t find the one at Gatwick Airport. “Hi, we tried to visit the changing places toilet at Gatwick last Thursday and nobody knew where it was!! We ended up having to be escorted back through customs by security (after being assured it was in the departures area by the special assistance desk) which took an hour of time. Can you please get more information to the staff there? Ask for more signs? It really stressed me out before a 10 hour flight. ”

          I don’ know why they don’t shout it from the rooftops. For families like mine, these facilities are why we choose certain destinations.

          I went to one locally a few months back and there was no signage at all, anywhere in the building and we asked 4 people who worked there before finding someone who knew where it was. Hard to believe.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. That is so awesome!!! It really is so exciting to see more business jumping up to accomadate all of their guests, and I think this is such a great example. Like you pointed out, it is odd that we’re so excited about something that really should be the norm. But, talking about it is definitely the first step! Thanks for sharing! ❤ #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are a really great company.

      The day we are no longer excited about toilets we can use, will be the day I know that I have achieved my goal!

      Like

  4. That’s brilliant that they’ve got such good facilities there, and that they’ve put it on the signs so that everyone knows they’re welcome there. x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember reading about this in one of your previous posts. It’s great they have it there and that it’s clearly signposted but I agree there should be more of these around!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on Sunday x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes such a difference to people to know as soon as they pull in that they are wanted here.

      The stress of travelling when you rely on these facilities is massive. Just letting people know they are there is a big help.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The more you write about these needs the more people will take notice and I’m so glad that has happened with this establishment. Hopefully more will follow which will be so helpful to so many families! Thanks so much for linking up to #kcacols hope to see you back next time.

    Liked by 1 person

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