Innova crowned Changing Places champions

Innova Care Concepts has been chosen to supply and install Changing Place facilities at three more big football stadiums in the North East of England to help them improve their accessibility.

All Premiership football clubs had agreed to install a Changing Place in their stadium by August 2017, but a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission showed that only half of these agreements had been fulfilled.

Following its work at St James’ Park and Riverside Stadium (the homes of Newcastle United and Middlesbrough FC respectively), Innova has been chosen to supply and install yet another Changing Place at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light with work due to start next month.

Managing Director Tom Hulbert and Changing Places Consultant Richard Smaldon at Innova’s head offices.

Innova’s Managing Director, Tom Hulbert, said:

 “Changing Places are so important. You see them popping up in the news more and more – and with good reason. Premier League football clubs might finally be taking notice of the lack of accessibility they offer, but that doesn’t mean that clubs in lower tiers shouldn’t be taking action as well.”

The Changing Places Consortium was established in 2006 with the aim to get more accessible facilities in public areas for the wider disabled community. With over a quarter of a million people requiring more specialist equipment, Changing Places are now seen as the recommended setup for accessible toilets.

Campaigners are now putting more pressure on theme parks, shopping centres, and other public places that do not have Changing Places available to use. With demand for these facilities increasing, Innova has hired a new member of staff to deal specifically with these projects.

Here are two Changing Places that Innova installed at St James’ Park in 2017.

Richard Smaldon, Innova’s new Changing Places Consultant, said:

“I am delighted to be supporting the Innova team at such an important time for accessibility and inclusive design. Our goal is to install Changing Places in as many public spaces as possible ensuring that people with health conditions or impairments have the right facilities that they need.

“We’re already in talks with other football clubs and sports stadiums that are looking to install Changing Places, but we’re also exploring opportunities with many progressive public venues. I look forward to Changing Places being readily available wherever disabled persons enjoy spending their time.”

Innova’s ability to provide a full Changing Place package has proven to be rather popular with all kinds of clients. The company will handle everything from the drawing work and dimensions, through to the supply and installation of all specialist equipment. This includes an overhead hoist system, toilet, washbasin, changing bench, and other items included in the BS 8300-2:2018 regulations.