New Changing Places toilet in Cwmbran store
Asda improves store facilities for customers with additional needs
Asda in Cwmbran has improved it’s accessibly facilities for customers as part of the store’s £2m refit.
The store’s accessible toilet has been upgraded to a Changing Places room, a national initiative that promotes the needs of people with physical and mental disabilities.
The team at Asda’s Head Office worked with Changing Places to understand the needs of disabled users and create the most functional facility, which was officially opened this week. The new accessible toilet includes a full-length changing bench, a fully adjustable electric hoist, and a specialist toilet, providing a safe and clean environment for customers.
This is one of the first Asda stores to have a Changing Places room installed and this is the only one in a 15 mile radius of the town.
Matt Dodd, General Store Manager at Asda Cwmbran, has a severely disabled son and understands the challenges families and carers have gaining access to the right facilities while out shopping. He has been working with the Disability Networking Group at Asda on a range of ideas to support customers with additional needs.
He said: “As a parent and a retailer, I understand the benefits of accessible facilities from both sides, and this is something that is very close to my heart.
“My son, Noah, is three and half – he is Quadriplegic and is deaf and blind so he requires 24 hour care. Facilities like Changing Places make a massive difference to parents and carers when they are out shopping but they are very few and far between.
“There is no other facility like this in a 15 mile radius and offers much more privacy for disabled customers and their carers. I am so pleased our Changing Places room is now open and we are already receiving encouraging feedback from customers.”
As well as having the right equipment to assist parents and carers, the room also has a lock, which can be opened using a universal Radar Key, to avoid the space being abused. If a customer doesn’t have a key of their own, colleagues on the customer service desk will be able to assist with opening the Changing Places room.
The campaign was launched in 2006 as a quarter of a million people are not able to use standard accessible toilets.
Rossanna Trudgian, co-chair of the Changing Places Consortium, said: “We are delighted to see Asda working to improve the facilities it offers to disabled customers, to ensure they are the best they could be. This shows growing recognition of the additional needs of many customers.
“However, there are still many large public places across the UK that lack Changing Places toilets and therefore deny people’s rights.
“We will continue to fight to make sure every single one of the 14 million people in the UK who require a Changing Places toilet, can access one.”
The installation of a Changing Places room has also been welcomed by Cwmbran Shopping Centre, where Asda is located.
Rikki Teml, Cwmbran Shopping centre manager, said: “Asda’s new facilities will give disabled visitors to Cwmbran Shopping much more freedom and flexibility, allowing them and their carers to shop without having to stress about issues such as accessibility and hygiene.”