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A Changing Places toilet for The Hepworth Wakefield

In May 2018, the gallery completed installation of a Changing Places toilet.

In the next stage of the gallery’s efforts to improve its accessibility to all audiences, this week The Hepworth Wakefield has completed the installation of a Changing Places toilet.

The Changing Places toilet is located within the gallery’s Clore Learning Studios on the ground floor, an area of the building used primarily by families and schools. The facility has a height adjustable adult sized changing bench, a tracking hoist system and adequate space in the changing area for the person with additional needs and up to two carers.

The Hepworth Wakefield owes a debt of gratitude to a local campaigner for Changing Places, Alison Beevers, for raising the issue with the gallery.

Alison commented: ‘Everyone should have the opportunity to experience and learn about great art works and culture. I’m delighted that The Hepworth Wakefield recognises the importance of providing Changing Places for visitors (and staff) who need more than a standard disabled toilet’

Kath Knight, Director of Business and Operations at The Hepworth Wakefield, said: ‘We want to provide the best possible experience for all visitors to The Hepworth Wakefield, so are delighted to have been able to provide this facility’.

Earlier this year, Yorkshire Sculpture Park also installed a Changing Places toilet. The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, along with Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute, together form the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle, four venues that make Yorkshire the best place to see contemporary and modern sculpture. The completion of the toilet at The Hepworth Wakefield makes all three points of the triangle now serviced by a Changing Places toilet.

For more information on the Changing Places campaign, please visit www.changing-places.org.

The need for the toilet is essential as standard accessible toilets do not meet the requirements of all people with a disability. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These are met by a Changing Places toilet.