Southampton FC: Disabled changing facilities open

image copyrightSarah Brisdion
image captionSarah Brisdion had said she was unable to take her twins, Erica and Hadley, to games because of the facilities

New disabled changing facilities at the centre of a mother's campaign have opened at Southampton Football Club.

Sarah Brisdion, whose six-year-old son Hadley has cerebral palsy, had pushed for new facilities to be fitted at St Mary's stadium.

She said Hadley was too heavy for baby changing facilities and wanted to spare him the indignity of having to lie on the floor in the toilets.

The club said the toilets were added as part of ongoing improvements.

image copyrightMencap
image captionThere are about 900 Changing Places facilities in the UK

Mrs Brisdion wants more venues to install hoists and changing benches - which is not currently a legal requirement - for those who wear nappies or pads.

She said she was "ecstatic" the facilities at Southampton FC had opened.

"No-one will have to lie on the toilet floor again - they will have some dignity which is amazing."

She added she hoped to take Hadley to a match and use the facilities before Christmas.

The club said the facilities had been officially registered as Changing Places toilets.

Mencap, which runs the Changing Places campaign, said: "Campaigners have been fighting for over a decade to get more toilets installed across the country, so that people who need them can enjoy the same freedom, independence and choice as anyone else."

Mrs Brisdion's own Hadley's Heroes campaign has successfully helped to complete Changing Places toilets at Portsmouth International Port, with further ones planned by New Forest District Council in Lymington and a smaller-scale facility in New Milton.

There are about 900 Changing Places facilities in the UK and about 250,000 people need to use them, Mencap said.

Southampton FC had said it offered an "alternative solution" of a separate changing room with raised changing area to Mrs Brisdion while the new facilities were being built.

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