Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, was pleased to join the Conservators of Ashdown Forest in opening a new Changing Places facility at the Forest Centre in Coleman’s Hatch.
Changing Places are larger accessible toilets, designed for people with severe disabilities who cannot use standard facilities. These new state-of-the-art facilities come with additional equipment such as hoists, adult sized changing benches and space for carers.
In 2023, Wealden District Council was awarded a share of over £7 million Government funding as part of its programme to deliver more Changing Places toilets across the country. This latest round of support is providing more than 600 new facilities, bringing the total of Changing Places toilets across England to 1,900. Ashdown Forest Centre was chosen as one of the locations in Wealden, due to little or no access to specialist facilities previously. The new Changing Places toilet was delivered in partnership with Wealden Rehab Limited and the High Weald National Landscape Partnership, and will enable more people to access and enjoy the Forest and the Centre in the future.
Nusrat Ghani said: “I’m pleased that Wealden has secured a share of the Government’s latest round of funding, and that the Ashdown Forest Centre has been chosen as one of the locations to benefit from this investment. The Ashdown Forest is the jewel in Wealden countryside, enjoyed by many local residents, schools and tourists all year round. It is key all visitors have access to the facilities they need and this new Changing Places toilet, complete with specialist equipment, will ensure that the Forest continues to be a welcoming destination and accessible for all. I championed this initiative during my time as Transport Minister and secured Changing Places toilets to 22 motorway service stations across the UK as part of the Inclusive Transport Strategy. It is fantastic that Wealden locations including the Ashdown Forest can also benefit from the Government’s Changing Places scheme, helping to make the country more inclusive for people with disabilities.”
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