Changing accessibility for our residents

11 March 2024

A brand new Changing Places toilet has been officially opened in Southwark’s Dulwich Park last weekend to support disabled people who visit the park.

Changing Places toilets are large accessible toilets that include equipment such as hoists and adult-size changing benches to ensure that disabled people with specific care needs can receive safe and dignified personal care when away from home.

Last year, Southwark Council was awarded £120,000 from the government’s Changing Places Fund to increase provision for disabled people in the borough. After conversations with local stakeholders, including disabled people and carers, Dulwich Park was identified as a priority location for a new Changing Places toilet.

The facility was installed in February, adding to the park’s existing accessible features; accessible parking within the park, wide flat pathways, level access cafe and an accessible swing. It sits behind the café, next to the existing toilet block.

Dulwich Park is also home to Whippersnappers, an inclusive activity provider that recently secured funding from Southwark Council to deliver weekend and school holiday schemes for disabled children and young people over the next three years. The addition of a Changing Places toilet within the park will ensure that children with a range of care needs can access the Whippersnappers schemes based within the park. 

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We know being able to enjoy our beautiful parks and open spaces is so important for people’s health and wellbeing. We want to make our parks as accessible to people as possible, and we really hope this will encourage more disabled people and their families or carers to come and enjoy the loveliness of Dulwich Park.

“Being able to do something as simple as use the toilet comfortably and with dignity should be available to everyone and I am so pleased this is now available to our disabled residents and visitors in Dulwich.”

Some of the funding has also been used to upgrade the Changing Places toilet at Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre. This has included moving some of the fixtures and fittings to make the space more usable for disabled people, and purchasing new equipment including an adult-sized changing bench.

A Changing Places toilet has also been installed within the new Una Marson Library.

Page last updated: 11 March 2024

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