7 Aug 2019
New ‘accessible’ family weekend following feedback from Norfolk mum
We are really looking forward to hosting our new Pop-up Changing Places Family Weekend, featuring a Mobiloo, on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August 2019, and it all came about thanks to an email from a Norfolk mum.
Emma Spagnola, who has two sons with autism, has been campaigning for more accessible toilets and got in touch with our team to request an event featuring these facilities.
Emma’s letter has resulted in a new Pop-up Changing Places Family Weekend at Pensthorpe with an attended Mobiloo throughout the weekend.
A Mobiloo is a mobile accessible toilet with adult-sized changing bench, hoist, wash basin and a friendly attendant. It makes it possible for disabled young people and adults to take part in everyday activities, enjoy new experiences and make memories with family and friends.
For 250,000 disabled people in the UK, the only place they can go to the toilet is in their own home and they can often be excluded from attending events and going on days out.
We had a chat with Emma, who will be attending the event at the weekend.
She said: “Being able to simply spend time together and enjoy family days out can be a rarity with families with a disabled family member because we have to plan in so many factors. I got in touch with Pensthorpe because I have heard so many awesome things about it but haven’t been able to take my family. I am really pleased that Pensthorpe has taken my feedback on board and will be providing a Mobiloo, which features a ceiling hoist and, in most cases, a sink that a wheelchair user can position to fit underneath. This means that children and adults with a range of disabilities can spend the day away from home. My family are counting down the days until we visit.”
We are really looking forward to welcoming you and your lovely family to the reserve Emma.
We also caught up with our owner, Deb, to find out about the importance of having a Mobiloo here at Pensthorpe. “While we know how important it is for families and individuals to spend time together and reap the rewards of being outside, we know that standard accessible toilet facilities are not widely available in the area. Thanks to Emma getting in touch with us, we are trialling a Mobiloo at our new Changing Places weekend. Having this facility means that we can be inclusive and let families concentrate on just enjoying themselves, without worrying about things like toilet facilities that we can often take for granted. It is part of our longer-term vision to have more permanent facilities like this here.”
Pop-up Changing Places Family Weekend runs between 10am and 6pm on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August 2019.