Chesterfield FC Community Trust was ahead of the game with the installation of a Changing Places toilet when the HUB was opened, with such facilities now compulsory in new buildings.
The Community Trust was not only one of the first organisations in the area to install a Changing Places toilet, but was also one of the first football teams in the UK to have one, beating all the clubs in the Premier League.
The government’s decision to insist on Changing Places being made available means that more than 250,000 severely disabled people will have greater access to public places.
Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for severely disabled people, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.
Accessible Derbyshire’s Jane Cooper, who is a trustee of the Community Trust, has outlined the importance of Changing Places.
She said: “This change in the law on Changing Places is nothing short of life-changing for the 250,000 people in the UK who need these facilities, and their families.
“Without Changing Places, those who need them face a choice between not going out at all, going out for just a couple of hours at a time, or face the prospect of being changed on a public toilet floor: something which is unhygienic, undignified and unacceptable.
“As someone with a disabled daughter, I know first-hand just how difficult this can make life, which is why I began campaigning for the provision of Changing Places toilets in 2003.”
Community Trust chief executive John Croot added: “We were grateful to Derbyshire Constabulary for providing a grant from the Proceeds of Crime fund which enabled us to install the Changing Place toilet.
“It is this leading edge thinking and determination to be as accessible and inclusive as possible which sets the Chesterfield FC Community Trust apart.
“Our commitment to the community will form an integral part of the Trust’s plans going forward.”