COUNTY NEWS: Major chains refuse to adjust '˜degrading' loos
A mum who cannot take her disabled son to the cinema because there is no '˜dignified' toilet facility for him there has spoken of her disgust after two major chains have refused to provide one.
Laura Moore, 40, from Worthing, asked Cineworld to install a ‘changing places’ facility which has a hoist and adult-sized changing table in its Burgess Hill complex – which is yet to be built – because its cinemas in Chichester, Brighton and Crawley do not provide one.
Her son, William, seven, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which means he cannot talk or walk and needs to be lifted from his wheelchair and laid down to be changed in toilets. He also has epilepsy.
“He is too tall and too heavy for a baby changing table and has to be manually lifted – the only option is to lie him on the toilet floor,” Laura said.
“Manually lifting him is unsafe for him and lifting him and lying him on a toilet floor is unsafe, unhygienic and degrading.”
But the cinema chain said it would not be providing one.
“Instead they suggested we use their Brighton cinema and use the council owned changing places toilet near the pier which is 1.7 miles away,” Laura said.
Laura also submitted a complaint to M&S after it failed to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to its Holmbush centre store in Shoreham citing the Equality Act 2010.
She requested a changing places facility to be installed in one of its three disabled toilets, but this was also refused.
The mum-of-one appeared on Channel 4 News’ No Go Britain programme on Tuesday night (December 13).
She was filmed taking William from the cinema in Brighton Marina to the toilet near Brighton Pier – as the firm suggested this as an option. This took 51 minutes.
Laura said: “The length of time it took was unbelievable and would result in my son missing over half a film.”
A Cineworld spokesperson apologised to Laura and William and said they ‘understood her frustration’: “These are things that the UK cinema industry generally does not provide, but we will continue to work through the UK Cinema Association to keep this situation under review and engage with disability rights groups.”
A spokesperson from M&S said: “We looked carefully into Ms Moore’s request and considered it thoroughly but, as we have explained, we will not be making any immediate changes to our customer facilities.”
Laura was instrumental in getting the changing places toilet on Worthing seafront installed last September.
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