Support - #PantsDown4Equality

On Friday 11 May between 10am and 4pm Sarah Brisdion, the mother of a disabled child, plans to sit on the toilet in the Bathstore showroom window on Baker Street, London, in full view of the public. #PantsDown4Equality hopes to raise awareness of the conditions that her son and thousands of other disabled people face when using the toilet away from home.

Sarah’s son Hadley is seven years old, he has cerebral palsy and is a full time wheelchair user. When out, he is regularly faced with the undignified and unsanitary situation of lying on toilet floors, because standard accessible toilets do not meet his needs.

Sarah said: “Hadley cannot stand unaided and needs to lie down to have underwear and trousers removed and be lifted onto a toilet. Without facilities, known as ‘Changing Places’ toilets (with an adult-sized changing bench and hoist) he has no choice but to lie on the loo floor or relieve himself in a nappy and sit in his own bodily waste. It’s heartbreaking for me as his mother and so distressing and dangerous for him.”

Sarah will be joined in the window, by special guests from around the country, including actress and disability rights campaigner, Samantha Renke, and two of our Family Fund bloggers Laura Rutherford and Laura Moore.

Sarah added: “It’s shocking that in 2018, disabled people still have to endure this. We need to put a stop to this inhumane situation and encourage venues to upgrade their facilities and become more inclusive.

“Toilets are not glamorous. As Changing Places campaigners we have to go to extreme lengths to get our cause noticed. Which is why we will all have our #PantsDown4Equality to try to get the full attention this human rights issue deserves.”

Sarah added: “There are currently only 1093 Changing Places toilets in the whole of the UK, which sounds a lot until you appreciate that Wembley Stadium alone has 2,618 toilets! London is one of the worst cities in the country for disabled residents and visitors that need help accessing the loo, with just a few Changing Places toilets in the West End and most only available if you are specifically visiting a building, such as the Houses of Parliament. For many disabled people, London is a no-go zone.”

Find out how to support the #PantsDown4Equality campaign at www.hadleysheroes.co.uk