Clos-o-mat are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of equipment for changing places toilets. This week we took some time to find out a little about one of their team members, Claire Haymes.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at clos-o-mat
My role as Project coordinator means that I am responsible for looking after all the Changing Places & school hygiene rooms projects that come in.
I provide advice & information on equipment layout and space as well as producing quotes.
I also look after the orders and see the projects through to completion.
How did you get into this industry?
I used to work in retail but was made redundant 7 years ago. I came across a job advertisement on my friend's Facebook page and went for it.
I’d never really looked at this industry before and didn’t think I’d get the job. There’s not much similarity between toilets and selling face cream!
What has been the highlight of your job?
It’s always great when a new project completes and sometimes you think you are never going to get there.
Manchester Airport is probably the highlight as it’s my local airport and there were many challenges along the way.
Do you have any words of wisdom to share with people who campaign for changing places toilets?
Keep going! Changing places are not required by law, so you can come up against it when trying to encourage venues to include one.
I often hear responses such as ‘we have a disabled loo already and have provided everything we need to under regulation’.
People simply do not understand that standard Doc M disabled toilets are only useful to ambulant disabled people, what about others that need help to go to the toilet?
The space is just too small and the equipment needed (hoists and changing table) are not included.
Campaigners have probably heard every excuse going on why a venue cannot provide a CP, but my advice is that we have seen every situation and there’s always a solution!
Which changing places toilet are clos-o-mat most proud to have been involved with?
At Clos-o-mat we are proud of every single one, Changing Places are so important and really make a difference to people’s lives, so every install is a great achievement.
What is the average timeline for a changing places toilet from initial contact to official opening?
There’s no real answer to this, some projects have been ongoing for years.
They may be part of a big build and so we often get contact from architects at planning stage and it can be years before the project is finished and registered.
We have just registered 2 facilities at St Fagan’s Museum in Wales. This was a massive project and so took years from initial contact with the architect to registration.
On the flip side if it’s a simple refurb the quickest we have put on in was at Cornwall Services which only took a few weeks from contact to registration.
The guys at Cornwall services made a decision that these facilities are so important that they needed to include one and do it quickly. There was no stopping them!
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