Scottish charity PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society), whose head office is based at the University of Dundee, are launching a campaign on World Toilet Day, the 19 of November, to fund the first mobile Changing Places toilet in Scotland. PAMIS support people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) and their families for a better, more inclusive life and are using their 2016 ‘Spend a Penny for PAMIS’ campaign (19– 25 of November), which annually works to highlight the need for more Changing Places toilets, to raise the £65,000 necessary to purchase a fully accessible mobile changing facility that can be taken to events and locations across Scotland where no Changing Places facilities are currently present.
Currently hundreds of disabled people in Scotland are prevented from attending events or outdoor venues due to a lack of suitable changing facilities. While outdoor locations sometimes offer ‘disabled toilets’, these are usually inadequate or inappropriate for hundreds of disabled people who need to be lifted, require personal care while lying down, or have other specific needs. With an electric hoist and changing table as well as a toilet and wash-basin, a mobile Changing Places facility means that even those wheelchair-users with the most complex requirements can get out and about to enjoy the same opportunities as everyone else.
Scotland, unlike England, has no mobile Changing Places facilities available for hire despite many organisations attempting to source one to ensure their event is fully accessible. The new mobile Changing Places facility will be available for hire by organisations when putting on events such as festivals, sporting fixtures and exhibitions. This will enable not only those people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, who are supported by PAMIS, to attend more events, but also some individuals with spinal and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, amputees, motor neurone disease, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, spina bifida and recoverees of strokes.
Jenny Miller, CEO of PAMIS, explains why the charity is launching this campaign:
“Individuals with complex needs are among the most excluded people in our society. Organisations such as the T in the Park and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival have recognised the need for Changing Places facilities but have been unable to include them at their events due to lack of availability in Scotland. Having a mobile changing places toilet available for hire in Scotland would provide the opportunity to all event organisers to be fully inclusive.”
PAMIS is collaborating with Gloucestershire-based organisation Mobiloo, a social enterprise who are currently expanding their fleet of mobile Changing Places toilets in England, to create a UK wide fleet of mobile Changing Places vehicles. Mobiloo are bringing one of their vehicles to the launch of PAMIS’ fundraising campaign which takes place on Saturday the 19 of November, International World Toilet Day, at the Glasgow Science Centre. PAMIS will be there from 10- 14.30 before moving on to the Kelpies in Falkirk where they will be from 15.30- 17.50. PAMIS are then taking the mobile Changing Places toilet to the Perth Community Cultural Festival on Sunday the 20 of November and will be there from 12-15.00. The charity is encouraging everybody to visit these locations over the weekend and find out more about this facility.
PAMIS have also set up a Just Giving appeal at https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/pamis/spendapennyforpamis2016 for anyone who would like to support this appeal.