Changing Places toilet for Holland Park

Published: Wednesday 19 July 2023

Updated: Wednesday 19 July 2023

Visitors to Kensington and Chelsea’s Holland Park and High Street Kensington with learning and physical disabilities have far more flexibility in their trips with the opening of the first fully publicly accessible Changing Places toilet in Kensington and Chelsea today.

What are Changing Places toilets? 

Changing Places toilets are specially equipped for people with learning and physical disabilities and their carers. 

Unlike a standard accessible toilet, Changing Places toilets offer more space and can accommodate two carers and another person. They also include a height adjustable toilet, height adjustable sink, an adult-sized changing bench, a hoist and shower.

Official opening 

The official opening of the Changing Places toilet in the stable yard of Holland Park was carried out by Cllrs Emma Will, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure in Kensington and Chelsea; Sarah Addenbrooke, Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health in Kensington and Chelsea; who were joined by service users from Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea (ADKC) and representatives from the Royal Brompton Hospital

It is part of a £500,000 project not only creating the Changing Places toilets, but also refurbishing the changing rooms and public toilets in the park.

Cllr Emma Will, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, said

“This new facility means far more people can now enjoy Holland Park, or go to the shops on High Street Kensington, or visit the Design Museum without having to worry about planning their journey. 

“We are going to provide more Changing Places toilets to make people’s lives easier, we already have planning permission for one in North Kensington, in Kensington Memorial Park and we are looking for a site in Chelsea as well.”

Maryia Stoeva, (Chair of ADKC Access Group) added

“Lack of fully accessible disabled public toilets and Changing Place facilities is one of the biggest barriers to disabled people accessing the opportunities which other people in society take for granted. It can result in disabled visitors hesitating to go to cultural and communal spaces like parks and galleries, and increase isolation.

“Good access is not only about a physical accessibility, but it also is an ethos of the inclusion of everyone. We are so very pleased that the Council has installed a new Changing Places toilet in Holland Park.”

Ras Kahai, co-chair of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Trust Disability and Wellness Network, said

“Dignity and independence for most people are taken for granted but disabled people have to fight for them every day. So Changing Places toilets are so important because they provides these basic human rights for everyone.” 

There is also a recently opened Changing Places toilet in the Royal Brompton Hospital and similar toilets in Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, the Science Museum and the National Army Museum. 

How many people need to use Changing Places toilets? 

There are over 250,000 people who need to use the facilities of a changing place toilet.