My heart goes out to all those who have to suffer the indignity of having to change their disabled child’s/relative’s nappy/pad on a toilet floor.
It is hard enough coping with the other difficulties involved in caring for those you love without being treated like a second-class citizen whenever you leave home.
Whilst I completely agree that this is totally unacceptable, I also appreciate that it is impractical for hoists to be installed in most premises either for financial reasons or due to lack of available space.
It occurs to me that we have an opportunity here to possibly solve the problem, or to at least go some way towards improving things.
Much as I love the rotunda in Montague Street, would it not be a far better idea to demolish it (as has been suggested recently, anyway) and replace it with a brand-new, lockable facility for key-holders only, much like the Radar key system?
Being centrally located, it would be ‘convenient’ for all those needing the full range of disabled equipment and, being lockable, it could not be abused by the general public or an easy target for vandalism. Keys for the local community could be obtained via the local council or social services, and perhaps there could also be a ‘day loan’ system in operation from a nearby site (a helpful retailer such as M&S?) so that any disabled visitors need not be excluded. While we’re at it, why don’t we go the whole hog and include toilet facilities for the rest of us, too?
We could even have a ‘mini’ mobility centre on the site selling a few items (wheelchair accessories, for example, to help out shoppers who need extra bags/raincovers, and the staff could run the ‘day loan’ system.
The new facility need not necessarily be positioned exactly where the rotunda is currently sited – it could be set back a little, where the existing benches are, near the entrance to the covered arcade, for example.
We could even update/refurbish the rotunda and provide more seating and STILL put a new disabled toilet facility where the existing benches are... the possibilities are all there, we just have to consider the needs of ALL in our community.
It would be so good for Worthing if it were widely known that we actually care for ALL our shoppers in the proper manner. What do other readers think?