The Marlowes Shopping Centre Changing Places facilities image

The Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, has received the official accreditation from Changing Places for its recently launched toilets, recognising that the facilities meet the needs of disabled shoppers visiting the hub.

As part of the centre’s commitment to make shopping simple and worry-free, the new facilities will offer a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, hoist system, a non-slip floor and screen to promote privacy.

In addition, there will be a centrally placed toilet and enough space in the changing area for a disabled person and up to two carers.

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Vince Williams, Centre Manager of The Marlowes, said: “We’re delighted to be able to present this new facility to our disabled customers. We understand how important it is to provide a seamless shopping experience for all the family, which is why we strive to make The Marlowes as inclusive as possible.

“The new Changing Places facility will be of great benefit to all who access it.”

The investment comes after The Marlowes made a commitment to the local community in 2017 to provide updated facilities to enhance shoppers’ experiences. The development includes the enlargement of the downstairs toilets, which features improved family facilities complete with all the equipment needed to look after younger shoppers, alongside a children’s play and family area.

The Marlowes Shopping Centre Changing Places facilities image

Changing Places toilets meet the needs of people with multiple learning and physical disabilities. Over a quarter of a million people in the UK need Changing Places toilets, but there are currently just over 1,200 across the UK.

Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said: “We are delighted that The Marlowes has registered a Changing Places toilet and hope that other venues will follows its example and commit to installing these much-needed facilities.

“Without access to Changing Places toilets, more than a quarter of a million people are faced with a choice of not going out or lying on a dirty toilet floor to get changed. By building more Changing Places toilets, we can tackle the exclusion that many disabled people face.”

Visitors to The Marlowes can also benefit from an added number of disabled bays in the car park alongside its Shopmobility centre, with discount parking available during Monday to Saturday for shoppers with a blue/orange badge.

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