It’s good news for visitors at Kingsbury Water Park as a second new accessible – changing places – toilet opens at the site.
Warwickshire County Council installed a much-needed Changing Places Toilet (CPT) at Broomey Croft back in 2017 and was able to leave a Visitor's Book inside the unit and monitor the feedback from service users.
Evidence gathered from Broomey Croft, along with the findings from previous questionnaires, enabled the ‘Friends of’ group to apply for the funding for a second unit to be installed around the main site of the Water Park
The Council wanted to encourage more availability of these invaluable facilities across the County and the friends of group were successfully awarded £35,000 towards the unit.
The ‘Friends of Kingsbury Water Park then set about raising additional funds for the unit. They had planned to run various fundraising events but they, of course, were all cancelled with the onset of the pandemic and it was thought that their chances of raising the money were small. Just over £1,000 was raised prior to the pandemic, thanks to various fundraising social activities, mainly from quiz nights run by the Friends group.
In addition, a crowdfunding page on JustGiving was set up, and after the first lockdown when the Visitor Centre was still closed, the friends began selling bags of duck food by the water's edge and found that it was not only a good 'fund raiser' but it was also very popular with children and wildlife. Jack at the Old Barn Coffee Shop offered to help sell the duck food from the café too resulting in over 4,500 bags of duck food being sold.
In addition to that, Dean and Asifa from the shop in Mill Crescent, Kingsbury, heard about the fundraising efforts and they offered to sell duck food on behalf of the group.
In terms of how such facilities can change a person’s life, Maria MacCallum explained: “Before I had (son) John, I never really thought about disabled toilets, I assumed they were suitable for all disabled people, I did not stop to think about how those that cannot stand could transfer themselves to the toilet, or how those who have to wear pads and cannot stand would be able to change their pads.
“Changing places actually change people's lives, it means that those who need this extra help can finally go places they have never been to before, that facilities are for everyone, not just the more able amongst us. It's not just the life of that disabled person you change, it's the life of all the people around that disabled person too, we can go to more places with John without worrying.
“John loves the Water Park and we come here quite a lot, mostly during the holidays, usually with me running around the various trails with him, having a changing place here means we can have longer trips in the park as we don't need to go home if he needs the facilities.”
Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: “As a Council, we are proud to be working towards a Warwickshire that supports its residents to lead more independent lives by creating a more accessible environment within those locations that we own.
“Kingsbury Water Park is a fantastic location where residents and visitors to Warwickshire can enjoy a fantastic range of activities all year round. We hope that the addition of a second changing places toilet will now make it accessible to as many people as possible.”
Further information about Kingsbury Water Park can be found online: https://countryparks.warwickshire.gov.uk/kingsburywaterpark