Pioneering Pod for families with access needs at People’s Park

A new ‘park pod’ has been secured by Council for Ballymena’s People’s Park which will support visiting families and others with access needs.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 7:30 am

Started towards the later end of last year the playpark has undergone improvements, with brand new inclusive and play equipment, due for completion in the coming months.

As part of the project, Mid & East Antrim Council secured a pioneering pod to support people and families with access needs who will be visiting People’s Park.

The AccessoLoo Changing Places facility will be placed beside the playpark, providing toilet facilities that are not available in standard accessible toilets. The pod has been designed and made by AccessoLoo, an organisation led by individuals who all live with disabilities and require the use of such public toilets.

The AccessoLoo Changing Places facility

Coming complete with items such as a ceiling hoist, changing table as well as a toilet and sink, which are both height adjustable to meet the needs of the individual user. The pod adds a new level of access for all visitors and highlights the councils’ equitable approach to the upgrade of the People’s Park.

Across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, there are over 300,000 people who are unable to use conventional accessible toilets and this issue also impacts their immediate family and friends who are unable to plan any kind of meaningful activities without having access to these types of toilet facilities.

Michael Holden MBE, the CEO of AccessoLoo said “Unless you are someone or know of someone with access needs, you probably never consider the barriers we face in trying to plan a day out.”

An internal view of the pod