IKEA Gateshead has become the latest of the brand’s stores to install a Changing Places toilet as part of the chain’s ongoing ambition to be accessible to all.

IKEA is currently the only major home furnishings retailer in the UK to commit to providing Changing Places toilets in all new stores, and upgrading facilities in selected existing stores.

With equipment supplied and installed by Closomat, the Changing Places facility means that anyone who needs help to go to the toilet when away from home has an appropriate environment in which to ‘go’; many disabled people need more space, and/or additional equipment, beyond that provided in traditional accessible toilets.

Kelsey Avery,  customer services manager at IKEA Gateshead, explained, “At IKEA Gateshead we take great pride in providing an inclusive and accessible shopping experience. Through our vision to create a better everyday life for people, we recognised the importance of Changing Places for many of our customers in the North East, and are proud we are now able to offer a Changing Places facility to the local community.”

The IKEA Gateshead Changing Places toilet is located at the end of the store by the Checkout, and features a conventional peninsular WC, ceiling track hoist, height adjustable washbasin and height adjustable adult sized changing bench in the 12m2 room.

Changing Places are, under British Standards(*), deemed best practice for accessibility. Their validity in locations to which the public have access is becoming recognised to the extent that the Government is now consulting on changing the law to make their provision mandatory in large, new buildings accessed by the public.

Closomat has become the ‘go to’ company for Changing Places. It was the original sponsor of the Changing Places campaign a decade ago; its website www.closomat.co.uk is an exemplar resource for campaigners, providers and specifiers alike, with a raft of support information including white papers, calling cards, CAD blocks, video and case studies.

Uniquely, the company can provide an in-house, ‘one- stop-shop’ complete package for ‘away from home’ assisted accessible toilet facilities, from design and commissioning, through to project management, supply and installation. It is also unique in being able to additionally provide subsequent maintenance and repair.

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