Third Changing Places to be installed in Somerset

An example of a Changing Places facility provided by Clos-o-Mat in Leicester

The town of Frome in Mendip, Somerset, is set to be the third location in the county to feature a Changing Places facility.

It will be installed in a converted store room and will feature a range of equipment including a hoist and height adjustable changing bench as well as offer enough room for multiple carers and the user.

A local campaign has managed to secure funding, part through the use of Section 106 money earmarked for the town with top-up funding by the district council, a contribution from Frome Town Council and some community fundraising. Mendip District Council will also fund the ongoing annual cost of maintaining the facilities, according to a local newspaper.

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Kate Bielby, Frome Town Councillor said that Mendip District Council is committed to rolling the facilities out across the district.

“Ultimately, this development is thanks to the patience, tenacity and graciousness of the small group of local people who have campaigned for Frome’s very own Changing Place. It’s such a basic right to be able to use a toilet comfortably and safely and this will undoubtedly make a huge difference to the accessibility of Frome,” she told the Frome Times.

Meanwhile, Frome Mendip District Councillor, Adam Boyden, said: “It has been great to work on this cross-party initiative to meet this clear need. There is currently no specific Government funding for Changing Places and no specific legal or planning policy requirement that they be installed.

“However, research by Somerset County Council and Glastonbury and District Mencap has estimated that Changing Places facilities will benefit over 7,700 people in the Mendip district.”

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