Following a visitor’s successful campaign for a Changing Places toilet, this beauty spot can now be enjoyed by everyone!  

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest is an award winning outdoor visitor attraction, set in a beautiful park with rolling hills and glorious valleys. It can be found in Goudhurst, just outside Tunbridge Wells, and is accessible so that anyone and everyone can enjoy its beauty.

One vital missing factor

One mother and daughter had visited the park regularly since the daughter was very young. They enjoyed many years visiting the park, however, as the daughter got older, her additional needs meant using the toilet facilities available at the park became more and more difficult. In order for her daughter not to have to miss out on visiting the park in the future, this incredible mother started a campaign to secure funding for a Changing Places to be installed, to which she had great success.

The design stage

The new Changing Places facility was to be located in the existing toilet block which had been constructed from wood – similar to a log cabin design. A tender for the project, covering just the design stage, went out and our team at CareSpaces couldn’t wait to get started. We put together an extensive design plan which involved locating the right space, remodeling the male toilets and creating incredible designs. We are pleased to say Care Spaces successfully won the tender.

Now to bring the project to life

The second part of the development was the tender for the installation stage. CareSpaces was keen to demonstrate safety at this point as the park was to be open during the installation and the toilets still needed to be accessible. CareSpaces were yet again successful and we began work during the summer holiday period, one of the busiest times of year.

We started by stripping out the male toilets and changing the layout. We hired a temporary toilet for the gentlemen to use in order to carry on with construction work. Whilst work was being undertaken, safety was a priority and we made sure the structure of the log cabin was maintained and fully supported at all times.

Getting real users and carers involved

What was really nice about this project was when it came to the equipment in the Changing Places room, our client took advice from a user group, and the mother who advocated for this room was one of the members. In the Changing Places room, the following was installed:

A doorway was also created to the Changing Places room and new flooring and decor was put into the male toilets after its reconfiguration.

The end result

Believe it or not, this project took longer to plan that it did to deliver, but it was worth every moment. During the installation, there was a lot of work going on in a small space and on a very busy site. There were lots of families visiting and young children running around, and their safety was our priority, yet we still managed to complete the project on time and with great success. The new Changing Places room had its own opening ceremony with lots of people in attendance and the room received a fantastic response.

Since completing this project, we are still in touch and working with the mother as she continues her mission to have more Changing Places toilets across the county.