Scheme to make town’s toilets more accessible

Age Concern feature for ETC, Venton Centre, Eastbourne'06/05/11 ENGSNL00120110516085029

Age Concern feature for ETC, Venton Centre, Eastbourne'06/05/11 ENGSNL00120110516085029

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A local campaign group will launch a new project this week in a bid to make toilets in the town more accessible.

Eastbourne Designed For All (EDA) was set up with an aim of helping businesses meet local consumers’ needs more effectively, thus promoting inclusive design throughout the town.

The campaign offers advice to businesses on how to make their services available for everyone, whether it be children, students, the elderly, families or disabled people. As part of the help, EDA issued a checklist to all of its members, highlighting possible areas of improvement with their products, services and premises.

As part of the ongoing campaign, the group plan to launch a new project to make toilets in the town more accessible. The Community Toilets Scheme will be launched at an event on Thursday (March 19) at the Venton Centre on Junction Road.

At the event, called Tea is for Toilets, discussions will be held outlining why having accessible toilets is important for the community as well as potentially enhancing business. EDA will also discuss the next steps for the toilet scheme and how it will progress in future with its current partners.

EDA director Tom Serpell said, “Local campaign Eastbourne Designed for All has been funded to create a scheme in which existing customer toilets in commercial or social premises are opened to use by the general public. This offers residents and visitors to the town more facilities in more places, without new premises being required. It offers the hosting organisations the chance to show their products, services or premises to more potential customers while doing something worthwhile for the community. Some premises owners have already agreed to participate in the scheme.”

The Community Toilets Scheme is run independently of the current public toilets in the town, with its own signs, website and communications, all of which will help members of the public know where they can go and find the facilities they need.

The website, which will highlight exactly where the designated accessible toilets are, as well as offer more information about the scheme, will launch at the Tea is for Toilets event on Thursday afternoon.

EDA runs a number of other schemes, to which a host of local businesses have signed up, including The Grand Hotel, The Hydro Hotel, Southern Railway, Southern Mobility Centres and The Bootcamp Theatre.

Local MP Stephen Lloyd said, “I am delighted to have become a member and supporter of the Eastbourne Designed For All project. A number of leading firms and organisations across Eastbourne and the surrounding area have joined up in the pursuit of one overriding goal; to take the necessary steps that mean Eastbourne will become the most accessible town in the UK and pursue a consistent high quality provision of goods and services to all its residents, visitors and businesses.”