Twycross Zoo aim to provide families with a great day out whilst educating visitors on conservation issues. The Twycross Zoo Conservation Initiative has contributed to conservation and welfare programmes that support animals in the wild since 2006, supporting over 55 projects in dozens of countries around the world.
To make their work and attraction accessible to as many people as possible, Twycross have always catered for people with disabilities; most of the site is suitable for wheelchair users and guests are able to hire mobile scooters for the day.
However, the zoo only had ‘standard’ accessible toilets on site which aren’t suitable for guests with severe disabilities who may need a hoist to use the bathroom, or the help of a carer/family member.
The team at Twycross knew that a Changing Places bathroom would help open the attraction up to many more people.
Louise Shaw, Fundraising Officer at Twycross said; “We have been looking at installing a Changing Places facility for a number of years, but as a registered charity we were limited by the cost”.
Louise explained the funding process; “As the LCC Grant could not fund capital development, we needed to find an additional source of funding to pay for the modular building and for the groundworks. We applied for, and were awarded, LEADER funding to install the Changing Places building. When we had this, it unlocked the LCC grant”.
Twycross also gained letters of support to help strengthen their case and application. A range of local campaigners, user groups, SEN schools and professional organisations offered their support.
“We have been really lucky to secure full funding for our Changing Places and we are very grateful to the funders”, said Louise “they’ve enabled us to create a rural resource. A facility which anyone in the local area can use during Zoo opening hours, 364 days per year. Thank you again to both of our funders, our campaigners, and iHUS for completing the project”.
We have been really lucky to secure full funding for our Changing Places and we are very grateful to the funders, said Louise “they’ve enabled us to create a rural resource. A facility which anyone in the local area can use during Zoo opening hours, 364 days per year. Thank you again to both of our funders, our campaigners, and iHUS for completing the project”.
With funding secured, the project to install the Changing Places quickly went ahead. Twycross Zoo assessed their site for potential locations and realised that there were no spaces which would be suitable for an adaption. With some research the zoo came across iHUS and our modular Changing Places solution.
With the location chosen for the new facility, iHUS manufactured the unit at our site in South Yorkshire before delivering it to the zoo for installation. This was also carried out by our professional team.
The facility was installed without any issues and features the usual equipment found in a Changing Places toilet, which includes an adult changing bench and hoist system.
Finishing touches including exterior cladding to blend the new building with existing structures at the attraction, signage and of course, a bespoke mural wall on the inside of the bathroom featuring Twycross branding.
Watch the short video below to see what Twycross Zoo have to say about this unique service, only available from iHUS and our partners at Access for All.
One unique aspect of the project is the training and support offered to the Zoo by iHUS partnering up with Access for All – a charity who are passionate about accessibility. Before the new facility was even built, we were on site with Access for All with the Twycross team, explaining the needs of people who may want to use the bathroom and what part the zoo needs to play in maintaining the facility.
Twycross are thrilled with their new facility and now look forward to not only welcoming more visitors to the zoo and improving local toilet provisions, but also helping the local economy;
“As the facility is free of charge to access, it represents the creation of a rural resource which will support local communities, businesses and help stimulate the local economy by attracting more people to the area”, concluded Louise.
With over 30 years’ experience in construction, iHUS are one of the UK’s leading disabled adaptations companies – specialising in the design and installation of Changing Places facilities.
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