A NEW toilet block at Seaton promises to provide accessible facilities for those with a range of disabilities.

Deviock Parish Council is delighted to announce that a Changing Places Toilet (CPT) is now open in Seaton Countryside Park.

The toilet is equipped to meet the needs of people with a range of disabilities to ensure everyone visiting the beach and the park knows there is a facility they can access should they need it.

Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other disabilities that limit mobility, often cannot use a standard accessible toilet. Changing Places Toilets are fully equipped with a whole range of facilities such as hoists, adult sized changing tables and space for carers so that everybody can go out in the knowledge that if they need to use a toilet they can. Something most people take for granted.

The purchase and setting up of the Seaton CPT has been made possible thanks to a government grant, in addition to funding from the parish council.

The CPT in Seaton also has a photograph adorning one of the walls. The photograph is of a huge wave beautifully captured at Seaton beach by local photographer and film maker, Anthony Butler of Mr B Productions - Specialist Water and Surf Video of who donated the image.

Councillor John Croft, vice chair of Deviock Parish Council who led the project said: “Seaton Beach and Countryside Park are wonderful places to visit and the new Changing Places Toilet makes them accessible for many more residents and visitors to enjoy.

“This has been achieved due to the hard work and support of all parties involved, including Muscular Dystrophy UK and Cornwall Council, our ever-responsive contractors and Karen Pugh, our indefatigable Clerk.

Local resident Katherine Kowalski added: “Many people don’t realise that standard ‘accessible’ toilets are actually inaccessible for hundreds of thousands of disabled people, including my 12 year old son.

“Without a Changing Places Toilet, this means having to be changed on toilet floors or in the back of a car. Not only is this uncomfortable and unhygienic, it puts us all at risk of injury because there is no hoist for lifting. This makes days out incredibly difficult, and often we end up avoiding going out altogether.

“Spending time in nature is essential for wellbeing but there are still so few places where it is possible to do that, if you or a family member needs a Changing Places facility. Seaton already offers so much with its flat country park trails, convenient parking and ramped access onto the beach - a Changing Places Toilet now makes it truly accessible, and I’d like to thank Deviock Parish Council for making it happen.”

Local resident, Sheila Taylor, who cut the ribbon to open the CPT continued: “Having Changing Places Toilets mean that my husband and I are able to double the amount of time we can go out. This allows us to visit places that otherwise we could not go to.”

The Seaton CPT is open daily from 8.30am until ‘dusk’. This will normally be 5pm at the earliest during October to April. From May to September, the CPT will be available until 7pm.

Locations of Changing Places Toilets and more information including real life stories of the difference that a Changing Places Toilet can make can be found at www.changing-places.org