Help Emma to help others

Emma Bishop, the MP for Complex Needs with the Devon Learning Disability Parliament for Exeter and East Devon, gets ready to tackle the issue of toilet facilities in public places.

A CAMPAIGN is under way to improve toilet facilities for disabled people and their carers in East Devon.

Emma Bishop, the MP for Complex Needs with the Devon Learning Disability Parliament for Exeter and East Devon, run by Devon Link-Up, is at the forefront of the campaign to introduce Changing Places toilet facilities in public places including supermarkets.

She met with the MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, last week to discuss her plans for the campaign.

Honiton Town Council recently got behind the campaign to make toilets fully accessible for disabled people and their carers and has agreed to write to supermarkets Tesco, Lidl and Aldi.

Emma said: “I help people with complex needs, find out things and get better access to places in the community and toilets.

“My big piece of work is to try and get more changing places toilets in Devon. Changing places toilets are important because, if someone needs to go to the toilet in a town they should be able to, even if they are in a wheelchair.

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“Changing places toilets would be a good idea to have as it would help people with complex needs and mean they can use the toilet.”

Changing places toilets provide additional space and equipment to help those with complex needs and their carers, such as height adjustable changing benches, a hoist system and a non-slip floor.

Emma told the Midweek Herald that, for those with complex needs, going to the toilet can be an embarrassing experience as they may have to be changed on the toilet floor.

She said: “We need a lot of support to help me to help others.

Emma got involved with the campaign after hearing about it from Mencap and thought it would be something she could help with.

She added: “There needs to be more awareness and more people need to know what it is like to have a complex need.”

“Changing Places is a good thing to make people feel better about themselves.”

Emma is planning to write letters to the Tesco store in Seaton and other places across East Devon to try and get these facilities in place to help people with complex needs to get the help and dignity they deserve.

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