John Lewis Changing Places tweeter launches supermarket petition

Asda currently has more Changing Places than any other supermarket chain. Paul Barker/AFP/Getty Images

The Twitter user who caused a social media stir earlier this month with her post shaming department store John Lewis for not installing Changing Places has launched a petition calling for major supermarkets to commit to investing in specialist bathroom equipment.

Laura Moore posted an image showing a young girl on the floor of a toilet cubicle in John Lewis illustrating the conditions families and carers are having to work in. Her Tweet gained national media attention and saw other people venting their frustration at a lack of specialist facilities.

Ms Moore’s campaign, which highlights the fact that only nine out of around 2,600 supermarkets in the UK have Changing Places, has already received 31,000 signatures.

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The campaign wants a commitment from top retailers, including Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose, to roll out Changing Places toilets across their whole network of stores within the next 18 months.

Changing Places toilets are specialist changing facilities which feature additional equipment to traditional disabled toilets including hoists, changing benches and more room for carers.

According to Ms Moore, Asda currently has four such facilities with another opening in 2018, Tesco has three and Sainsburys and Morrisons have one each.

The petition site says: “None of these chains have committed to providing these facilities in all their stores despite knowing the conditions faced by customers when they do not have them.

“They all provide toilets for their other customers in their stores and many provide a variety of facilities including ladies toilets, gents toilets, disabled/accessible toilet, ambulant disabled toilets, baby changing rooms and even baby feeding rooms.”

A similar campaign which launched a couple of years ago saw Premier League clubs make a pledge to improve access for disabled fans and since then many have invested in specialist equipment and Changing Places.

Earlier this year a government advisory body urged ministers to make it a requirement that all large builds open to the public include Changing Places toilets.

Recommendations from The Commons Women and Equalities Committeewhich was appointed to examine the government’s performance on equalities issues, stated that the accessible toilets should be a minimum requirement for large developments like large shopping centres.

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