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A toilet on a Peak District hilltop lifts the lid on accessible facilities

Friday 20 July 2018

Loo on Mam TorA toilet has been carried to one of the highest points in the Peak District National Park to raise awareness about accessible facilities.

National Park Authority staff assisted Accessible Derbyshire and other partners in carrying all the equipment of a Changing Places kit to the summit of Mam Tor on World Changing Places Day (19 July).

The Changing Places kit included a full-size toilet, height-adjustable changing bench, hoist, sink and privacy screen.

There are 250,000 people in the UK who, because of disability, brain injury or age-related ill-health, need changing when they are out. But with only 1128 Changing Places nationally, more are needed.

Accessible Derbyshire’s Jane Carver, whose daughter Megan needs changing facilities, explained: “For families like ours, taking a trip out without a Changing Place being available can seem like climbing a mountain, so we climbed a mountain with a Changing Places kit to highlight the need for these vital facilities.

“Without Changing Places disabled people who want to go out face the prospect of being changed on a public toilet floor, or they have to stay at home. We are campaigning to encourage more businesses and organisations to provide them.”

Further information on Changing Places, for people to find out where they are and for organisations wanting to install a facility, can be found at www.changing-places.org.

The Peak District National Park Authority partnered with Accessible Derbyshire and Mobiloo to hire a mobile Changing Places unit for the day, sited at Castleton Visitor Centre, to support the event. Castleton Visitor Centre, which houses Castleton Historical Society museum and Blueberry café, is fully accessible and provide accessible toilet facilities.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We’re highlighting the importance of access for all by putting the focus of our National Parks Week (23-29 July) celebrations on accessibility with a wide range of opportunities for people who need wheelchairs, buggies and bikes to get around.

“We want everyone to be able to visit and enjoy the Peak District National Park: accessible walking paths, cycling routes and even boat trips are waiting to be discovered. Our trails and visitor centres are accessible and we provide a range of equipment for all abilities at our cycle hire centres.”

National Parks Week events include:

  • Monday 23rd July, 11am to 1pm: Roll and Stroll – wheelchair-friendly walks from Parsley Hay Cycle Hire.
  • Tuesday 24th July, 11am, 1pm and 3pm: Caving Trips – mobility-friendly tours inside Peak Cavern.
  • Tuesday 24th July, 1.30pm to 3.30pm:  Explore the Broken Road – discover the landscape and geology of the Hope Valley.
  • Thursday 26th July, 10.30am to 12.30pm: Discover Derwent Dam – experience one of the Peak District National Park’s most iconic locations.
  • Thursday 26th July, 2pm to 4.30pm: Wheelyboat Trips – take to the water on the accessible wheelyboat from Ladybower Fisheries.
  • Saturday 28th July, noon to 3pm: Family Discovery Walk along the Tissington Trail.
  • Sunday 29th July, 11am to 4pm: Archaeology drop-in family event at Castleton Visitor Centre, meet the National Park’s archaeologist.

For full details of these, plus other walks and events – and to book – please visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/npw.

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