So if you follow my Facebook page you will have seen I recently posted a little tease about an upcoming Changing Place local to me.
Well here I can reveal the location of this Changing Place will be…
(Incase you haven’t guessed from my title)
As a mother of four, Supermarket shopping is no easy task. This is made harder with a disabled child and a complete lack of facilities. For both of those reasons this is why I always do grocery shopping online. Nowadays Supermarkets now are like mini shopping centres. You can buy anything from bread and milk, to TV’s and PC’s all while picking up a brand new outfit or having a bite to eat in their cafes. Being restricted to just shopping online or just limited to popping in means you get to miss out on so much of what Supermarkets have to offer and in turn they miss out on your cash.
So how did it all come about???
Over a year ago, I contacted ASDA and sent them my usual information trying to ‘convince’ ASDA that toilet floors are not good enough and Changing Places is far better. ASDA were very pleasant to work with and took my views as a parent/carer on board. ASDA said they were “Very keen” to install Changing Places and were planning to “Roll them out across the country.” ASDA did however state they could not tell me the timeline of when my local store would be getting one.
Fast forward to last month. I went to my local ASDA with my children including my disabled son to get the children’s last minutes bits for school. Let’s just say it didn’t go to plan and we ended up just buying whatever was in the basket and rushing home.
A few weeks after I noticed ASDA were doing alot of building work so I emailed ASDA to ask if they were putting in a Changing Place facility also explaining about my previous trip which left us exiting early. I got the reply they were refreshing the toilets but NO Changing Places were to be installed. Not happy with this, I emailed a formal complaint to the CEO.
I very promptly recieved a reply. It was rather shocking to read the reason why they were not installing Changing Places. It was because The Official Changing Place Campaign advised them against doing so. Can you believe it? ASDA told me they were advised as Watford had a number of Changing Places in town
one being 1.2 miles away ASDA didn’t need to install. How can a campaign like Changing Places, whose sole purpose is to get Changing Places installed, give such damming advice?
As a parent/carer campaigner for Changing Places. I have helped get Changing Places in my local town of Watford Hertfordshire. These include Warner Bros Studio – Harry Potter Tour, Watford Football Club and Cassiobury Park. I do this because I believe Changing Places should be as readily available as much as your standard disabled toilets. I put all of my very rare bits of spare time into campaigning to get businesses, attractions and just basically anywhere suitable to install. I just feel so deflated and that all my previous efforts were going to waste.
I wish I can say this is the first time this has happened, but sadly not. I have had the same response from Tesco and John Lewis. I also know others that have been told the same.
Luckily for me, despite Changing Places advising otherwise, ASDA listened to myself a parent/carer and a valued customer and decided to go against advice from Changing Places and just do the right thing. ASDA now are going to install Changing Places as part of the current building works.
Campaigning for Changing Places takes so much time and hard work. I often think about giving up, But the bottom line is (no pun intended) my son needs them and I can’t just sit back and do nothing, especially after I have seen the positive results of my hard work. So for now, I will take a little break from campaigning while I think what my next steps will be and just look forward to the opening of yet another Changing Place for my town which I know will not only be a great benefit for my son but for the wider community.
I am very grateful that ASDA for just doing “The Right Thing”. ASDA showed a great “Commitment to customer service”
“Making sure we have the correct facilities in place to meet all of out customers needs”
ASDA listened to one Mothers voice whose son needs these facilities, who lives with the upsetting and degrading effects of not being able to access such facilities on a day to day basis. They listened to a Mother over the so-called ‘experts’. You can’t ask for more than that. I hope I have not put any campaigners off from keeping up with their hard work. I hope I have still managed to encourage other Parent/Carers also ask for the “Correct Facilities” despite my difficulties.
Inclusion and Accessibility should not be seen as a extra but as a given.