An Arbroath man cycled into action to raise a phenomenal £10,624 to help in his family’s campaign for better disabled facilities.
Grant Speed undertook a gruelling five-day, 370-mile cycle from Leeds to Arbroath to raise money for changing facilities for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in his home town.
“I have seen the constant battle that Lois and my niece and nephew have been trying to access a suitable changing facility when they are out and about for the day,” said Grant.
“Having seen the work done by Profound and Multiple Impairment Service (PAMIS) and the Changing Places campaign, I wanted to raise money to build a Changing Places Toilet in Arbroath.
“Lois believes this would not only benefit her son and daughter but many other individuals, families and carers who face similar difficulties and who would also benefit from this type of toilet facility.
“This is a basic need that should be met to help ensure that people can get out and about more easily without having to plan trips around distance of a local sports centre where toilet and changing areas are not always suitable or available.”
Designed to be bigger and better than conventional accessible toilets, these toilets are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair and up to two carers, a ‘Changing places’ standard fixtures of overhead hoist, peninsula toilet, basin and height adjustable changing bench.
PAMIS representative Kirsty Thomson said the phenomenal amount of money raised by this one family should spur on local authorities to take the initiative for provision of such facilities.
She said: “One facility in an area is not enough, these families have to cut days, experiences and basic trips short because there is not adequate facilities.
“It is traumatic and undignified for everyone involved.
“We are still a long way off but Grant, and his team of support, has made a huge difference towards raising awareness as well as money, it is an absolutely brilliant success.”
PAMIS and the family are now awaiting the next stage of approval from Angus Council to select an appropriate location before construction can begin.
The Changing Places campaign in Scotland has for the past eight years called for an increase in the number of fully accessible toilets in public places so that people who are dependent upon them can enjoy the same freedom as individuals without disabilities.