Banbury couple call for better provision for disabled adults

Kat Allsworth and her daughter Freya NNL-171007-112819001
Kat Allsworth and her daughter Freya NNL-171007-112819001

A Banbury couple are fighting for better disabled changing facilities for their adult daughter and other families just like them.

The sight of wheelchair access ramps, disabled access toilets and large, low-level door opener push buttons are part of the furniture of everyday life and for most of us are proof that disabled people enjoy the freedom and convenience that we take for granted.

There is, however, one large void in these provisions that Banbury and the surrounding areas are ill equipped for; that of changing provisions for disabled adults.

Almost a quarter of a million people in the UK require personal assistance to use the toilet or change incontinence pads be it people with learning difficulties, physical conditions such as cerebral palsy to those who have suffered severe stroke.

Changing Places toilets provide the provisions to do this yet the nearest one to Banbury is almost 13 miles away at the M40 service station at junction 10.

Outside of that you have to travel to Towcester, Milton Keynes or Leamington Spa to locate one but now Kat Allsworth and her partner Dewi Roberts are trying to change that.

The couple recently moved to Banbury from Oxford with their disabled daughter Freya, 20, and have been shocked by the lack of a changing space in the town.

Kat said: “It is easier for us to go out for the day out in Milton Keynes than it is in our own town .”

Dewi added his frustration about the situation here: “The rest of the town is really good. The town centre’s really accessible. The lack of changing is stopping people coming.”

The pair have started a website, and have been already been in contact with Cherwell District Council and representatives of Castle Quay 2.

Dewi said: “Originally we were hoping with the new CQ2 development they could put one there but because plans are quite far ahead I don’t think that’s going to happen but they are keen to work with us to find an alternative.

“It would benefit Banbury so much.”

Kat added: “We’re trying to bring awareness to this and trying to get some solutions. There is a population here that needs it.