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Tonys campaign for wheelchair friendly toilets earns him an MBE!

Tony Clough has at last been recognised for his hard work campaigning for the provsion of wheelchair-accessible toilets. Tony who is 38 and lives in Lichfield has campaigned long and hard requesting for Changing Places toilets with space for the user, their carer, a changing bench and a hoist, basically all that is needed to make life compfratble.

And his reward ? Tony has been appointed an MBE ! Tony is not a wheelchair user, It all started when he reaslised how difficult it was for his mother to meet the needs of his disabled sister who is a wheelchair user and needs to use public conveniences when out and about. Tony's reaction to the MBE was very modest and he said that he felt humbled by the nomination.

The campaigning went on for many years and he kept his efforts up even while he was being treated for a brain tumour so is clearly one of lifes battlers. He said: "I am just a carer for my sister. I see myself as a normal bloke who just sends a few emails and makes a few calls. "Hopefully, I can use the honour to help raise awareness, open more doors."

Wheelchair user friendly toilet layout Changing Places wheelchair user friendly toilet

A fellow campaigner for the same cause Mr Martin Emery said Tony has "been instrumental in the success of campaigns, including my own campaign to get Changing Places at Old Trafford. Tony was the first person to ask Manchester United for these facilities... and a Changing Places facility is now in place at Old Trafford."

Better toilet facilities for wheelchair users

In addition to Old Trafford, Tonys work has lead to more than 830 'Changing Places' being opend accross the UK, including the addition of Changing Places facilities at Manchester Airport.

It's not a lot to ask for to have suitable toileting facilities for a wheelchair user and to see progress like this being made is good news for all of us, let's hope that more of these facilities are rolled out throughout the UK soon.

Tony is not alone in campaiging for better facilites as many others around the country want to see a batter level of care for those with disablities and or mobility issues. In Hampshire, Sarah Brisdion, who has a five year old son with cerebral palsy, cannot use baby changing facilities as he is too heavy.

For more info from the Government web site on building regs please see here.

Frustratingly for all campaigners the Government regulations do not make providing such facilities a legal requirement and, according to charity Changing Places, there are only 750 appropriate toilets in the UK.

Mike Le-Surf, of Changing Places, has said the problem is so bad that it is stopping some folk  from leaving their own home.  The building regs that were reviewed in 2013 didnt include adult changing tables but did include wide wheelchair freindly doorways.

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