Ross Hovey, who works as a Manager for Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Standard accessible toilets meet the needs for some people – but there are those of us where specialist washrooms with extra space are crucial. I regularly visit our Old Broad Street office in London and having the new Changing Places facility at work is a welcome step towards full inclusivity.
“I have spinal muscular atrophy and use an electric wheelchair, my care team provides the support I need, 24/7. This new facility further enables me and my carers to have access to facilities that help my needs when I am at work.
“The benefits aren’t just related to my working day. Many of us like to have a quick drink with work pals now and again and, for most, where to go to the loo isn’t a factor when deciding whether to have that post work pint. Having an adapted washroom gives me the freedom to make last minute decisions to socialise with my work friends, as I’m less anxious about getting back to my adapted home.”
David Oldfield, CEO Commercial Banking and disability sponsor, at Lloyds Banking Group said: “Those of us who don’t have to think about how, when or where we use the toilet are in a position of privilege. A lack of accessible facilities can become a source of anxiety and stress for disabled people – making it difficult to leave home, or stay out for long periods of time.
“Everyone has the right to access facilities that meet their needs and, where a lack of these services prevents people from living their lives to the fullest, we need to take action. We’ve opened our first Changing Places toilet, at our office on Old Broad Street in Central London, and we’ll be opening more in the future – with the next in Bristol later this year.”
Karen Hoe, Changing Place Manager at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “As co-chair of the Changing Places Toilet Consortium, Muscular Dystrophy UK is delighted that Lloyds Banking Group has become the first bank nationally to install a Changing Places Toilet in a public building.
“We applaud Lloyds Banking Group commitment to supporting accessibility for both their staff and members of the public in the heart of London’s financial centre, making this important area more accessible for workers who depend on these facilities.
“At the Changing Places Consortium, we have been campaigning for more of these vital facilities nationwide to meet the needs of more than 250,000 people in the UK who are entirely dependent on them for their basic toileting needs once they leave the home.
“Changing Places facility costs upwards of just £20,000, and the impact for the community is invaluable.”