The first cricket match ever played at Lord’s Cricket Ground was in 1787, when businessman, Thomas Lord, set up a new ground in what was then known as Dorset Fields. Moving twice since then, in 1811 and 1814, Lord’s Ground has resided at its current location in St John’s Wood for over 200 years.
Taking care over every detail of the ground, MCC are dedicated to growing its reputation as the most celebrated and admired venue in cricket, from working with local communities to growing cricket’s global influence.
As part of their ‘Masterplan’ for the redevelopment of Lord’s, including installing wheelchair positions and amenity seats at all levels of the stands, MCC wanted to make improvements to enhance accessibility for all supporters by including a Changing Place toilet.
To achieve this goal, they contacted Changing Place supplier, Innova Care Concepts, for their expertise in design and installation, to ensure supporters with complex care needs had accessible toileting and changing facilities.
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MCC had previously included a mobile Changing Place for major matchdays at Lord’s but wanted to install a permanent Changing Places facility within the redeveloped Compton and Edrich stands, so it could be available all year round for any match day or event.
In order to install a compliant Changing Place, there were a few challenges for the Innova project team to overcome.
First of all, time was of the essence as the Changing Place needed to be completed before England Men played India Men in their second Test match, so supporters could use the facility.
This meant that all building work and equipment needed to be installed and handed over within a week, to ensure that the facility would be ready on time.
One of the major hurdles our team needed to overcome during the installation phase was the ceiling structure of the room.
Situated directly under the Compton and Edrich stands, the concrete stand structure juts down below the ceiling in the room, creating its own hurdle, as you can only install the rail as high as the lowest point that’s penetrating the ceiling.
Also, our fixing methods had to be signed off by the appointed structural engineer, as we were essentially fixing between breeze block walls and large concrete beams which support the seating in the stands.
To get around the unusual bracing structures for the hoist fixing points, and with many years of experience dealing with challenging spaces, our team installed L brackets above and below which would ensure that we could centrally locate any fixings. The benefit of this was the hoisting load was evenly distributed, therefore not placing weight on the edge of a surface, avoiding the potential of any movement when the hoist is in use.
Once these issues were solved, Innova were able to provide all the specialist healthcare equipment that a registered Changing Place requires, such as privacy screens and an overhead hoist system.
It was a pleasure to be able to help MCC provide a more inclusive experience for spectators by incorporating a Changing Place facility within Lord’s.
What Innova installed:
- AirRise200 hoist unit and H-frame overhead hoist system to help improve user accessibility and save caregivers’ time during transfers.
- Mobile height-adjustable changing bench, providing carers an accessible, elevated area to use without needing to bend and strain.
- Wash basin to allow users to sit comfortably underneath the basin whilst able to bear the weight of a standing user.
- Electric shower featuring maximum temperature settings to ensure that no user gets scalded when in use.
- Privacy screen to enhance user comfort and dignity.
- Wide paper roll dispenser.
- Hand towel dispenser.
- Soap dispenser.
- Colostomy shelf.
- Full height mirror.
- Coat hooks.
- Large sanitary waste bin.
- General waste bin.
“We are committed to continually improving our accessibility around the Ground to give all of our visitors a world-class experience at cricket matches and events. It is important to be able to accommodate all accessibility requirements and during the design process for the new Compton and Edrich stands, a permanent fully-accessible Changing Places facility was a priority.”
Robert Ebdon, MCC Assistant Secretary (Estates & Ground Development)
“Everyone at Muscular Dystrophy UK is delighted that the Lord’s Cricket Ground has installed a Changing Places toilet. This will really help those living with severe disabilities, such as muscle-wasting conditions, to plan their days out and attend sporting events. Being able to use a toilet that is accessible for your needs in a safe way and with dignity is a basic human right, and making sport experiences more inclusive can only be a good thing.”
Karen Hoe OBE, Changing Places Manager at Muscular Dystrophy UK
“It is fantastic to see the level of thought and care shown by MCC in ensuring their facilities are accessible and inclusive for all supporters. It has been our pleasure to help them achieve this by installing a new Changing Place facility at Lord’s, that can be used by supporters with complex care requirements.”
Bob Oliver, Commercial Director, Innova Care Concepts