New Changing Places Development Officer!
I am happy to introduce myself, Joanne Connah, as the new Changing Places Development Officer.
I have worked for Mencap as a Direct Support Worker for just under 4 years. Through this role I have seen the importantance and need for Changing Places Toilets. I also saw the negative impact a lack of fully accessible toilets can have on individuals and their ability to access the wider community.
Through a 5 month placement within the Campaigns and Activism team, I was able to gain knowledge of the Changing Places campaign and also lead a campaign in my local area to get a Changing Places installed.
I am aware that I have some big shoes to fill but can ensure everyone that I am dedicated to continuing the success of Mike and strive to reach the 1000th Changing Places mark before the end of 2017. I was lucky enough to have a few days hand over with Mike himself and learn from his vast knowledge of what’s involved in the campaign. I also got to meet with our campaign sponsors Aveso, and look forward to maintaing the positive relationship we have with them. I am excited to build relationships with local campaigners, as well as the members of the Changing Places Consortium.
The Year So Far...
I am pleaseed to report that since starting the role in the New Year there have been a total of 7 new Changing Places registered, bringing the current total up to 914. There are a few other registrations in the pipeline and I have no doubt the number will increase by the end of the month.
We have seen a fantastic amount of media coverage around Changing Places and our campaigners have been pivotal in spreading the message behind the campaign. Following the coverage on Channel 4, BBC Breakfast and the recent article in the Mail Online, we have seen a growth in interest in the campaign, from people wishing to start their own campaigns, to people wanting to blog about the campaign and help spread further awareness.
It has also been good to see that Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Disabled People, is still firmly supportive of the campaign, and recently wrote a blog around the campaign.
I look forward to continuing work on the campaign and to 2017 being a very positive year for Changing Places.