PFM 21 6 - Page 23



NEWS
health & safety
Accessible Café Society is a Gem…
A
new community venture is
proving that a venue does not
have to be big to be fully
accessible….
A small shop in Cromer has been turned
into The Honey Pot, a “café for
everybody”, to the extent it has even
managed to provide an assisted,
accessible toilet facility, aka Space to
Change/ Changing Places.
It is the result of efforts by AllCare
Community Support (ACS), following a
chance meeting with local disability
campaigner Emma Spagnola, and will
be staffed by ACS members. The Space
to Change- by Closomat- is a ‘first’ for
the town, as is another element of The
Honey Pot-a purpose-built Lego
workstation.
“So many big commercial enterprises
say they don’t have the space, or can’t
justify the expenditure, of providing
toilets with more space, a hoist and
changing bench (a Space to
Change/Changing Places facility),” says
Emma. “ACS has proved where there’s
a will, there’s a way.”
ACS members met Emma by chance
last year at Cromer Carnival, during
which conversation she explained about
the
concept
of
Space
to
Change/Changing Places, and the lack
of such toilets in North Norfolk- there are
fewer than 1200 in the whole of the UK!
“We really thought it was something that
could benefit not just our membersadults and children in mental and/or
physical disabilities in the area- but
Cromer too, as it’s is a big tourist town.
,” explained ACS’ Shannon Smith. “We
found a location for the toilet facility, and
have included in our one toilet
everything anyone could need,
regardless of ability; we needed some
means of generating the finances for the
running costs and building overheadshence the idea of opening a café.”
To thank Emma for the initial idea, ACS
invited her to officially cut the ribbon and
open The Honey Pot.
“It’s so exciting when people listen to
what you are saying and take it on
board,” adds Emma, who has four
children, all with additional needs.
“Without Space to Change and
Changing Places facilities, families like
mine simply can’t go out for even a few
hours, let alone a day, because
conventional accessible toilets don’t
give us the space, nor the equipment,
we need.”
A Space to Change facility extends a
conventional
wheelchair-accessible
toilet by offering more space (7.5m2 in
total) with a hoist and adult-sized
changing bench. Thus, anyone who
needs help (be it from a person and/or
equipment) to go to the toilet when away
from home can find an appropriate
washroom. A Changing Places toilet
offers the same equipment, is usually
larger (optimum 12m2) and is in addition
to conventional wheelchair-accessible
toilets. The Honey Pot’s toilet goes
further, to meet the highest criteria of
assisted accessible toilets under British
Standards, in that it has a Closomat
Palma Vita shower (wash & dry) toilet in
place of the conventional WC. Many of
Britain’s 13million registered disabled
people cannot use wheelchairaccessible toilets, because they need
more space, to accommodate carer(s)
or large wheelchairs, they need to be
lifted, or they need to be changed(*).
Closomat- Britain’s leading provider of
enabling toileting solutions- supplied all
the equipment required to create the
Space to Change: the company is also
the UK’s biggest supplier & installer of
Space to Change and its associated
Changing Places facilities.
Uniquely, Closomat can provide an
in-house, ‘one- stop-shop’ complete
package for ‘away from home’ assisted
accessible toilet facilities, from design
and commissioning, through to project
management, supply and installation,
and can also provide subsequent
maintenance and repair.
Its website www.clos-o-mat.com is the
‘go to’ resource available for
campaigners, providers and specifiers
alike, with a raft of support information
including white papers, calling cards,
CAD blocks, NBS specifications, video
and case studies.
Reader Reply: 216039
23

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