Following feedback from customers at their venue in Milton Keynes, Odeon Cinemas Group acknowledged a need for a Changing Places toilet. Their disabled toilets were small, and without equipment such as hoists and height-adjustable wash basins, they were unable to meet the various care needs of customers with complex disabilities.
In order to make their venue accessible for all customers, they required a Changing Place and contacted Innova for their expertise.
Following meetings with our design and project management teams, we acted quickly to assess, design and install a registered Changing Places facility.
Equipped with specialist healthcare equipment such as an AirRise 200 hoist system, Odeon now have an accessible cinema complex that meets the different care needs of their customers in Milton Keynes.
To ensure Odeon had a compliant Changing Places toilet, there were a number of hurdles that we had to overcome.
One of the biggest problems with the venue was how to minimise disruption caused by building works. Any noise generated would have a detrimental impact on their customer’s experience, so it was vital that work would need to be carried out quickly and quietly.
A lack of space within the venue to fit a Changing Place was also a pressing issue, with at least 12 square metres needed wherever possible to install a compliant facility. Following a site assessment, we identified and worked with architects to renovate an existing store cupboard to build a compliant Changing Place.
This included building a new entrance in the concourse so users could access the new facility. However, during the building works, we uncovered structural steel work found behind wall that wasn’t on original building plans. We also had to move an existing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream stall as that stood in the way of the new entrance.
Odeon Cinema in Milton Keynes has to be one of the most challenging Changing Places projects that we have faced, but in overcoming the issues that arose, it also meant that it was one of the most rewarding.
To minimise disruption for the cinema, all work was carried out at night between 11pm and 5am, ensuring customer’s cinema experience wasn’t affected by noise.
By working at night to carry out the necessary work, our installation team were able to find a solution to the structural steel work that was uncovered during the site assessment. They created a steel bracing system to stabilise the main girders during construction, helping to prevent buckling of the main beams, load distribution and dimensional control.
As the main contractor, Innova were responsible for the impact that the installation had on other areas in cinema. This included building a new stall for Ben & Jerry’s, as the previous facility needed to be moved to create space for new entrance to Changing Place.
Once these issues were solved, we were able to provide all the specialist healthcare equipment that a registered Changing Places needs such as privacy screens and a height-adjustable changing bench.
It was pleasure to work on this project and help the cinema become an inclusive venue for all customers.
What Innova installed:
- AirRise200 hoist unit and H-frame overhead hoist system to help improve user accessibility and save caregivers’ time during transfers.
- Height-adjustable changing bench that is wall-mounted, providing carers an accessible, elevated area to use without needing to bend and strain.
- Height-adjustable wash basin to allow users to sit comfortably underneath the basin whilst also being able bear the weight of a standing user.
- Low level back-to-wall concealed cistern mounted to IPS walling, equipped with dropdown grab rails to facilitate wheelchair transfers or assistance from carers.
- Privacy screen to enhance user comfort and dignity.
- 20” Wide paper roll dispenser.
- Hand towel dispenser.
- Soap dispenser.
- Colostomy shelf.
- Full height mirror.
- Coat hooks.
- Large sanitary waste bin.
- General waste bin.
“Kudos to ODEON Cinemas Group Milton Keynes for having a Changing Places facility. As a severely disabled person with a decent disposable income from my employment, I can confidently go to the cinema and if the need arrives, enjoy a moment on the pan.”
Accessibility Manager – Ross Hovey