Volunteer calls for disabled toilets at Worthing charity’s warehouse

Theresa Winter from Durrington has volunteered with the charity for nearly three years
Theresa Winter from Durrington has volunteered with the charity for nearly three years

A dedicated volunteer has been left ‘downhearted’ at the lack of suitable toilet facilities for people with disabilities at the warehouse where she offers her time.

For nearly three years, Theresa Winter has spent two days a week sorting through CDs and DVDs at a warehouse for St Barnabas House, a hospice for adults.

But Mrs Winter, who has been in wheelchair for 20 years after suffering two strokes at the age of 36, said the space at Broadwater Industrial Estate does not have wheelchair-friendly toilets.

It means the 56-year-old, who lives in Durrington Lane, lacks privacy as she cannot close the door behind her and there are no handrails for assistance.

She said there were two other people with disabilities who sort through donations at the warehouse.

“I think it’s time something was done,” she said.

“I’ve been fairly patient but they are not providing the basic needs in the warehouse.”

She said she had contacted staff three times asking for a solution – and while she was told something was in the pipeline, no progress had yet been made, she said.

“I think it’s quite important, when you think everywhere else seems to have them,” she said.

“Why can’t we have the same facilities as everywhere else?”

Mrs Winter said she enjoyed volunteering at the warehouse.

“I like the work,” she said. “It’s something to fill my day.

“I used to really look forward to going in but now I’m a bit downhearted.”

A spokesman said St Barnabas House said: “We are very aware of the concerns of this loyal and much valued volunteer.

“She is absolutely right, we do need and want to have disabled facilities at our Hospice Shops warehouse and it is something we have been trying to achieve for a long time.”

However work to improve the space and facilities at the warehouse had been halted because the landlord was not granting permission at this time.

“We really hope that the situation can be sorted out very soon so that we can go ahead with our plans to alter the toilets and improve the facilities for our staff and all the other wonderful volunteers who give up their time to help the charity,” the spokesman said, adding that the organisation would review other options if the situation could not be resolved.