We have worked hard with the disabled community in Torbay to secure almost £200,000 of grant funding to make severely disabled people's lives easier when out and about.

The funding will be used to support the installation of two Changing Places Toilets, meaning each of Torbay’s towns offer the right facilities for those who require them.

These highly specialised, larger accessible toilets for severely disabled people, are fitted with equipment such as hoists, privacy screens, adult-sized changing benches, peninsula toilets and space for carers.

The two newly agreed toilets will be in Brixham and Torquay and will be in addition to the existing Changing Places Toilet on Paignton seafront.

The grant was successfully allocated following the assessment of an Expression of Interest submitted by Torbay Councill on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The funding is available over three financial years, 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24.

More than 250,000 severely disabled people across the UK do not currently have access to public toilet facilities that meet their needs. Changing Places Toilets aim to open up public places to this group and their families, enabling them to enjoy the same experiences as everyone else.

Councillor Jackie Stockman, Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health for Torbay Council, said; “Valuable feedback from Torbay Mencap Society indicated that Changing Places Toilets can make the difference between visiting somewhere for a couple of hours and being able to stay for a day or until the end of an event. As we move forward into a new phase of regeneration across Torbay, it is imperative that we continue to make choices that are inclusive of everybody’s needs.”

Carol King, Chair of Torbay Mencap, said; “Our work is all about striving to make a difference in our community. By providing additional essential facilities for people with profound, complex and multiple disabilities and impairments we are ensuring they can enjoyably spend time away from their homes. We are incredibly grateful for the support the Council has shown us as we work together to build an inclusive Torbay.”

The facilities will be registered on the Changing Places Toilets website with accurate details such as opening times, precise locations and whether a key or coins are needed to gain access. This means that the people who require access to these specialised toilets can make informed decisions when planning journeys.

Changing Places Toilets will be regularly monitored and cleaned to ensure they are kept to a good standard.

Learn more about the work of Mencap in Torbay by visiting www.torbaymencap.co.uk.

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