New accessible toilets have opened at Coate Water and Lydiard Park thanks to a grant of £100,00.
The Changing Places Toilets (CPTs) are larger accessible toilets for children, young people and adults who cannot use standard accessible toilets, and feature equipment such as hoists, privacy screens, adult-sized changing benches, and space for carers.
They are located next to the existing toilet blocks at the two country parks.
The funding, from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Changing Places toilets fund, has also been used to provide similar facilities at Swindon Designer Outlet, which is in the process of being delivered.
The council has been working closely with local groups Mums on a Mission and Swindon SEND Families Voice to improve the facilities across the Borough to make them more accessible.
]This will allow a number of families to access local facilities, which they haven’t been able to enjoy before.
Cllr Adorabelle Shaikh, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I’m pleased to see our parks becoming more accessible with the introduction of these Changing Places Toilets.
“Everyone should have the chance to experience our fantastic parks and we need to do everything we can to ensure we have the right facilities in place so that no one is disadvantaged.
“As a council one of our three Missions is to reduce inequality so that we make Swindon a fairer place and these new toilets will certainly help us make progress in achieving that goal and building a better Swindon for all our residents.”
Anna Bird, speaking for campaign group Mums on a Mission, said: "We are so thrilled that fully accessible Changing Places toilets have opened at Coate Water and Lydiard!
"We started campaigning for these during the summer of 2021 because we were really struggling to take our children out to places like country parks, and often cut the day short to take the children home to change them.
"We were delighted when Swindon Borough Council secured funding towards these essential facilities, which will meet our children's needs in a safe, hygienic and humane way.
"There are lots of other people in the community who will benefit from having these facilities too.
"Our children love going for walks and being around nature, and having Changing Places will mean they can experience this properly.
"Coate Water and Lydiard Park are truly beautiful locations, and from now on we'll be able to stay for as long as we want to.
"That means we can enjoy a picnic, or stop off at the cafe, just like any other family!"
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