Winchester’s Science Centre and Planetarium is running a public appeal to raise funds to install a registered Changing Place facility, spearheaded by a local family.

Finn Mace from Twyford, launched the campaign with Minister for Public Health and Primary Care Steve Brine and his family to raise the required £30,000 and bring the facility to the local attraction and increase accessibility.

The spacious and fully equipped toilet would open doors for families like Finn’s, whose mother Jenny said, “The availability of Changing Places toilets gives families like ours the opportunity to experience the days out that many people take for granted. It shouldn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing – a person with a disability, whether that be a child or an adult, should have access to adequate toilet facilities. No parent should have the additional worry of potentially having to change their child on the toilet floor.”

With the movement gaining traction and the Changing Places Toilet Bill set for a second reading in the House of Commons later this month, MP Steve Brine commented: “This may seem like a small problem but it’s certainly not and it has a huge impact on children like Finn. Families with a disabled child should have exactly the same choices when it comes to a day out, or just a routine stop on a journey, as anyone else. I’m enthusiastically backing the Changing Places campaign and Winchester Science Centre’s fundraising effort in particular.”

Currently, there are only two registered Changing Places toilets in the Winchester District with Winchester Science Centre bidding to be one of the first science centres in the UK to home one.

“Winchester Science Centre is passionate about making science accessible to all,” said the centre’s CEO Ben Ward.

“Earlier this year, we invited families living with a disability to come to the Science Centre and advise us how our visitor attraction could be improved, and all agreed that installing a Changing Places toilet should be our highest priority. Based on their feedback, we’ve also made sensory backpacks available and added autism-friendly planetarium shows, so that children like Finn and his family can enjoy a memorable science experience too.”

Donations can be made by texting WSCA18 and the amount to 70070 or by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/ChangingPlaces.

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