Julie and Margaret's story
Julie is a young woman who lives in Newcastle. She has profound and multiple learning disabilities, meaning that both her physical and learning needs are very complex.
She needs 24-hour support with all aspects of her care, including going to the toilet.
Julie enjoys going shopping and out for coffee with her carer. She also loves going on holiday with her mum Margaret and other family members.
But flying to holiday destinations means that Julie has to go through the dangerous, unhygienic and undignified experience of being changed on the floor at the airport. This is because no UK airport has suitable toilet facilities for her to use.
‘We used to be given space to change Julie on the floor of the room where they stored body bags!’ says Margaret, ‘but this was converted into retail space. If only they could have converted it into a proper changing facility’.
Julie and Margaret need a Changing Places toilet – with an adult-sized height-adjustable changing bench where Julie’s pad can be changed, and a hoist to lift Julie from her wheelchair to the bench. They also need plenty of space.
‘If UK airports provided Changing Places toilets it would make such a difference to our lives, and many others like us’ Margaret explains. ‘No-one should have to go through the unnecessary indignity and difficulties that we face, just to visit the toilet’.
Newcastle Airport listened to campaigners and opened a Changing Places toilet in 2013. Located in the check-in area, prior to passing through security, the toilet is available to all disabled passengers and visitors to the airport who need it.
Margaret and Julie are delighted with what the team at Newcastle Airport have done.
You can find further details of this facility on our website and more about the access provision for passengers at Newcastle Airport on their website.