“Parents complain”

Is it complaining? Or just speaking a horrible truth?

I was in the press again this week, along with several other campaigners. It was a good article with a lot of information.

mail-headlineBut the headline bothered me!

I have a child who can use the toilet and who wants to. Don’t we all prefer the idea of using an actual toilet to wetting ourselves? OR WORSE!

But he needs a toilet with a hoist and changing bench to enable him to use it.

To enable this I usually e-mail ahead of our visit (very rare that we have a spontaneous outing) to check their facilities, check the space and find out if our equipment can fit.

I carry a fold out bed, mobile hoist and a toilet chair so that I can manage to get Adam onto the toilet. I then need a carer to come with me.

On our way to a wedding – the folding bed is already in the car.

Unfortunately, with my current back problems, getting the hoist in and out of the car isn’t an option right now. They are big, heavy and not that mobile!

Years ago we did it in the back of the car.

It is a sizeable car but imagine a wheelchair with child in that space, along with two adults lifting him from the wheelchair to the fold out bed, to the toilet chair, back to the bed then back to wheelchair. Then we get to deal with the “contents”.

Anyone fancy doing that with a child who is almost as big as you are and who has metal rods in their back, a hip which constantly and painfully dislocates and a knee on the other side of his body which dislocates too? When his knee dislocates you feel the vibration along his entire leg, from hip to foot.

Add in that he has osteoporosis so you need to be careful not to break him.

Is it really complaining?

Or is it just speaking up for my 10 year old son who needs better than the current minimum standards provided in toilet facilities with a wheelchair logo on the door?

With a Changing Places style toilet, all we need to take with us is this one single piece of equipment.

sling One simple sling.

It folds up small, fits in a mum-bag (or dad-bag) and nobody else spots that you are carrying anything unusual.

As for cost, people seem to have an idea that these facilities are ridiculously costly.

Cornwall Services had a room which was already functioning as a toilet. It cost them £6,500 for the ceiling hoist and a top end fully adjustable changing table.

If other users are like me, they stop there, eat, drink, shop in the farm shop or in Salt Rock, possibly pay for children to enjoy the great soft play area or Clip and Climb and then refuel at their fuel station.

I would like to state that Cornwall Services didn’t install it for that purpose – they did it because it was the right thing to do!

Servicing costs are also raised as a potential problem.

I asked one of the companies who install the equipment and they told me they charge £190 for an annual service of the hoist, to include preventative maintenance.

Not exactly unreasonable, is it? It doesn’t even take a lot of space!

Adam was very excited at the official opening of the accessible toilet at Cornwall Services.

I sometimes see comments online saying that the insurance problems are obviously what stop big businesses from installing them. Yet according to businesses which have them, they have had absolutely no insurance issues whatsoever. No extra charges, no issues!

Finally, I get very annoyed by people suggesting that having these facilities will “put people out of business”.

I haven’t yet come across anyone asking their local coffee shop to install one. (Although I know of at least two in the UK who wanted to install them and are glad to have them.) People are asking at tourist attractions, service stations,  big football stadia, theatres and new shopping centres being built. Are those people really being unreasonable? Or do we all expect toilets at these places?

So please add your support to this petition.

Because all this lady is asking for is for something which is currently a Building Standards “recommendation” in certain major locations to become mandatory.

If you expect to use a toilet at an airport or in a hospital, shouldn’t everyone expect to?







Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

12 thoughts on ““Parents complain”

  1. As one of the other campaigners in the article i have to say the headline also bothered me too.
    I have since used the heading and added ‘ ‘
    I didn’t believe i was a ‘complaining parent’ just one that sees an problem….sees a solution and is completely dumbfounded why no one cares enough to do anything. So in that case it’s left to me (and you and a few others) to try and change things.
    Complaining to me sounds like i am whingeing. I have 4 kids i know what whingeing is…
    I just wish others would see it for what it really is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The problem is people who don’t require these facilties don’t understand the necessity of them.
    If you don’t have a need you don’t require a solution!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish there was an easy way for more people to understand.

      Changing Places toilets were discussed as part of a debate in Parliament last night though and the MPs present clearly understood and have an interest in making things better.

      I watched it online and was too excited to sleep afterwards!


  3. I understand your issue with the word ‘complaining’, but I would also say that you have every right to campaign, to comment, to raise awareness, or do whatever you need to do to get this issue heard and understood. Good luck with it, as always. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  4. To be honest I am really bothered about that headline too. I think what some people don’t understand is that just because they don’t require one, doesn’t mean its not needed. I will definitely sign your petition! Great work, and a big thumbs up to Cornwall Services! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i read the article in the daily mail and was appalled with some of the comments at the end tbh. people are quick to judge when they dont deal with something day in and day out. lucky them ey. you are doing such great things with raising awareness tho. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I try not to read the comments but failed in my efforts with this one! One day some of those people will understand and they will wish they had done something to make the world better.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are not complaining. That headline should’ve said something like Facilities for disabled children inadequate or missing or something like that. Good for you for ‘complaining’ about the headline. Signed the petition. #kcacols


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