DCSIMG

‘Life-changing’ facility installed

JPCT 120814 S14330270x Pavilions in the Park, Horsham. New changing places toilet opened by Samantha Buck and HDC deputy leader Helena Croft - photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141208-130723001

JPCT 120814 S14330270x Pavilions in the Park, Horsham. New changing places toilet opened by Samantha Buck and HDC deputy leader Helena Croft - photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141208-130723001

A specialist changing facility designed to support disabled people and their carers was unveiled at Pavilions in the Park on Tuesday (August 12).

Campaigning Horsham mothers Samantha Buck and Natalie Gazey attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Horsham leisure centre, where district councillor Helena Croft (Con, Roffey North) opened the changing room.

Samantha’s online petition to provide improved changing facilities for parents with disabled children has attracted more than 22,000 signatures.

Her son Alfie Buck, eight, and Natalie’s son Laurence Biegstraaten, 11, are both severely disabled.

She said: “The ultimate thing for me was to get Alfie, and all disabled people including adults, off the toilet floor.

“It is a massive step forward. Now we can go into the park or swimming, and we have somewhere we can change him using a hoist and off the floor.”

Natalie added: “It is massively important - it will be life-changing.”

Horsham District Council has invested £2,500 to provide a new changing bench, hoist and shower into the private room.

Mrs Croft thanked fellow councillor Sue Rogers for her role in helping to bring the improved facility to Horsham.

She said: “We are very optimistic working with local businesses and the Hop Skip and Jump charity who want to pilot a new scheme for respite in the town centre.

“With the challenges nationally in all local authorities, to be able to do something along these lines is rewarding for us, and it sends a really strong message to the community and businesses.”

 

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