If you are a regular reader of Firefly blogs you will probably already know the reasons why we need Space to Change toilets.
If not then read this great blog from Laura Rutherford 'Why isn't this newsworthy?'
But aside from the fact that people are being forced to lay on dirty toilet floors, sit in their own faeces or face the indignity of being changed in the back of a car/van in full view of any passing stranger...
There is another great reason for providing fully accessible toilets.
Really? I hear you ask.
But surely, it's so expensive, the insurance would be astronomical and the space needed would take away valuable retail space... blar blar blar.
All excuses we hear every single time any of us ask a business why they don't provide a usable toilet that includes a height adjustable changing bench and hoist for our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, loved ones.
Here's the thing.
Why do you think businesses such as Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencers provide toilets for other customers?
Why do you find so many loos in a cinema?
By providing customers with a toilet INSIDE their business, it means they don't have to leave their business!
So we can stop what we are doing, leave our trolley of shopping for a minute, have a wee and get back to browsing and inevitably spending our money.
We can spend an extortionate amount on drinks in a cinema because we know we can nip to the loo without missing too much of the film, we might even buy another drink when we pop out.
Those toilets are MAKING them money!
Imagine if there were no toilets in any of those places, if you needed to pop out to have a wee would you end up going back afterwards?
Might you get distracted in another store and spend your money there instead?
This is the risk that every single business currently refusing to upgrade their disabled toilets is now facing.
If we are in their store and our disabled loved ones need a wee, we have no option but to leave.
And we will probably be so angry that our children/siblings/friends/clients have not been catered for that we won't go back afterwards.
Although by the time we've found a usable toilet we will either be a few miles away or will be at home anyway!
We might risk visiting a cinema but we wouldn't spend money on a drink because if they can't ‘go’, they can't drink.
They might have carers with them, it might be family, it might be friends.
But every single person in that group is a potential customer with money to spend, money which these businesses are missing out on by not considering the needs of their most vulnerable customer.
So, next time you see a post about this issue and think it’s unreasonable of us to expect these big businesses to make adaptions, remember, it is in their interest to do so.
If they've seen the value in doing it for you, how long until they see the value in doing it for everyone?
If you work in retail, know anyone in a management position in a big store (one that already provides toilets for other customers) please tell them why this is a good idea for them to make these adaptions.
There are well over ¼ million potential customers out there who would choose to spend money with them over any other business if they knew their most basic of human needs were being catered for.
Whichever supermarket brand is the first to do this in all their stores, will have me and my family as a life long customer.
You never know, if it makes them more money you might even get a bonus for bringing the idea to them!
For more information about our Space to Change Campaign visit www.spacetochange.co.uk
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