Bolton Wanderers will officially open a new state-of-the-art Changing Places facility on site at the Toughsheet Community Stadium prior to the Peterborough fixture this Saturday.
A Changing Places toilet provides sanitary accommodation for people with multiple and complex disabilities who cannot use a standard accessible toilet. With additional space and equipment, the facility is designed for people who need assistance to be changed.
Located in the south-east corner of the stadium, opposite the Club Shop, the facility encompasses a changing bench and hoist, shower facility and toilet.
With over 11 million people with limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability in the UK, standard accessible toilets meet the needs of some disabled people – but not all. Over 250,00 people in the UK need personal assistance to use the toilet or be changed, and the facility at the Toughsheet Community Stadium will be open on both matchdays and throughout the week to accommodate those who require the space.
Thanks to a £225,000 grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for the town, the facility is one of three installed in Bolton over the summer and will be opened on the same day the Club unveil a new Quiet Room for use on match days and a Wellbeing Hub.
The Wellbeing Hub, situated next door to the Ticket Office, will complement the current Fan Zone at the Toughsheet Community Stadium, as well as offering an extra amenity to be used throughout the week by the Club’s official charity, Bolton Wanderers in the Community.
The Quiet Room, which can be found next to the Changing Places facility, has been designed to create a comfortable and calming environment for supporters who may experience sensory overload and require a quiet space to retreat to during a matchday.
Phil Mason, Chief Operating Officer at Bolton Wanderers said: “This is a moment of real pride for us as a Club and something we’ve been working towards for many months.
“We are delighted that we can finally provide this essential facility not only for our own supporters but for people visiting the wider area surrounding the stadium, including Middlebrook Retail Park.
“Our thanks go to Bolton Council for the grant secured to implement the facility, to the team at RISE for their diligent work during the build and to the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust for their ongoing support and consultation.
“The opening of the Changing Places facility, alongside the Quiet Room and Wellbeing Hub are all part of our wider commitment to ensuring all those who visit the Toughsheet Community Stadium feel respected, safe and included.”
Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Akhtar Zaman, said: “Everyone should have the freedom and confidence to know they can access the facilities they need, wherever they are.
“That is why we were delighted to secure £225,000 from the government to fund Changing Places toilets for the stadium and other key sites in the borough.
“The opening highlights Bolton Wanderers’ ongoing commitment to being an inclusive football club at the very heart of our community.
“We look forward to more Changing Places facilities opening at Bolton Central Library and at Market Place Shopping Centre in the very near future.”
The Changing Places facility at Bolton Wanderers will be open for use from 1.30pm on Saturday 23rd September.
The other DLUHC-funded Changing Places facilities will be opening next year at Bolton Central Library and in the town centre Market Place.
Changing Places can also be found at Bolton Interchange, Octagon Theatre and Bolton One.