The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust has opened its first Changing Places assisted accessible toilet at a zoo as part of a programme of alterations to enhance accessibility.
Supplied and installed by Closomat, the new facility forms part of a new accessible toilet block, and includes an adult-sized changing bench, ceiling track hoist and privacy screen alongside the conventional equipment found in a wheelchair-accessible WC.
It means anyone, regardless of disability, can now visit the zoo knowing there are appropriate toilet facilities for them.
Mike Finnegan, Newquay Zoo’s operations manager, said: “We have brought in mobile accessible facilities a few times in the past.
“The number of people responding positively each time reinforced our belief that the right thing to do was to build something permanent. It allows greater accessibility for more people, and breaks down barriers.”
Claire Haymes, Closomat’s away from home co-ordinator, added: “Without Changing Places toilets, people who need the extra space and specialist equipment cannot go to the loo when away from home.
“By providing such facilities, Newquay Zoo is enabling everyone to go to the zoo, regardless of their needs for intimate hygiene.”
In addition to the Changing Places facility, the zoo is looking at improving accessibility across the site.
It has already improved viewing areas at the fishing cat enclosure, added wheelchair-friendly picnic benches, improved surfaces to facilitate wheelchair movement, and lowered kerbs.
Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, which owns Newquay Zoo, is planning to install more Changing Places across its sites in the future.