Parents enraged by Next's disabled changing facility blunder

A blunder from Next about a '˜promised' disabled changing facility has sparked talks of a boycott.

Monday, 15th May 2017, 11:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 2:27 pm
Parents are angry about the lack of a disabled changing facility at the new Next in Rustington. Pictured second from right is Laura Moore with her son William. Picture: Stephen Goodger

Laura Moore, whose son William, eight, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, has been campaigning for shops to install the changing facility, which includes a bench and a hoist.

When the Goring mother approached Next about the new Rustington store, she was told by the social media team that they would be installing a changing facility with the disabled toilets.

But when the store opened on April 26, it was not there – sparking anger among parents of disabled children in the area.

The new Next in Rustington (pictured) has come under fire from parents for not having a disabled changing facility

The 40-year-old said: “To say I am livid would be an understatement. I feel so let down by them, they made me feel like finally a large retailer was listening to the needs of their customers and did want our custom, but they don’t want us there at all, we are unwelcome and unwanted as far as I am concerned.”

Kirsty Lester’s son Alexander, five, is also severely disabled and needs the changing facility while shopping.

The West Worthing accountant said she was ‘really disappointed that Next have been so shortsighted’: “I had hoped that I would be able to browse their clothing and home items, but instead I shall boycott their store.”

In response to her complaint, Laura was sent a letter from Next apologising for the miscommunication, a bunch of flowers and a £100 gift voucher which she blasted on her Facebook page as sexist.

The new Next in Rustington (pictured) has come under fire from parents for not having a disabled changing facility

She said: “I don’t want a voucher. I don’t even really want an apology. I just want a toilet my son and other disabled people can use.”

A Next spokesman said: “We apologise for mistakingly giving the customer the wrong information. This was a human error on our part and our central store database has now been updated to include the correct facilities for this store.

“The store in Rustington does not have a changing places facility, and at present there are no plans to install this.”

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