Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has responded to demand for these facilities and acted to provide them in a bid to improve accessibility.
The new Changing Places toilets are situated in Lurgan Park – at the Robert Street entrance – and at Gosford Forest Park – beside the existing public toilets – which enables easy access for families and those needing support from a carer.
Lord Mayor Paul Greenfield said: “We’re delighted to see the new facilities operational at Gosford and Lurgan Park making our parks even more inclusive and accessible for everyone who visits.
“I have no doubt this will make a huge difference to people who need these facilities on a daily basis, enabling them to enjoy our local parks.
“In addition to the two new Changing Places toilets and as part of our continued commitment to improve the quality of life for people with a disability, other projects have been successfully delivered including a new wheelchair swing at Scarva Park, powered doors at the Market Place Theatre and a new mobile accessible toilet is now available for largescale events.”
Through the Access and Inclusion Capital Grant Programme, five projects have been completed with over £122k investment funded by the Department of Communities.
The programme is aimed at promoting a more inclusive society by enabling disabled people to participate more fulling in arts, cultural and active recreation activities.
To access the Changing Places toilets and wheelchair swing visitors will require a RADAR key. Any disabled person living in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough can get a RADAR Key. The keys also provide access to any public toilet in the UK that has been fitted with a RADAR corresponding lock for protection against vandalism or misuse.
RADAR keys are available at a cost of £3.20 (per key) from the Council Depot (Armagh), Civic Building (Banbridge) and Civic Centre (Craigavon). Proof of disability is required including a PIPs letter or blue badge.
Over 250,000 people in the UK require access to a Changing Places toilet, as standard accessible toilets are unable to meet their care needs.
Changing Places provide a hygienic, safe and comfortable facility for disabled people and carers. Larger than a standard disabled facility, they offer space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, with up to two carers present.
For more information on inclusive council facilities, RADAR keys, Mobile Accessible Toilet and activities, visit our dedicated Inclusive Information section on the website here: www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/inclusive-information/