What was Looathon?
On Friday 11th May 2018, a big group of us descended on the Bath Store Baker Street, London. To raise awareness for the need for Changing Places toilets, to be put into more venues. Changing Places are toilets with hoists, adult change bed, sinks that be highered or lowered. A disabled toilet that provides dignity for those who use it.
Other disabled toilets are small, and don’t always have room for a carer or a wheelchair to come in with the user.
This is my family on the Loo. My husband Dan, daughter Emily, and my dad Charles.
My 11 year old daughter, can’t use a toilet and her care needs mean that she has to lie on a public toilet floor. The floors are usually filthy, and the whole dreaded saga is disgusting, but we have no choice, otherwise she would never leave the house.
The Looathon, was us taking turns to sit on the toilet at the Bath Store. Sarah Brisdion from Hadley’s Heroes, who organised this event, has previously written a blog for Rollin’ With Mama, about her son Hadley, who also has to lie on the floor. Read Sarah’s blog No more toilet floors.
We were all there
The Bath Store very kindly let us use their store as a venue. Mobiloo came along to the event, and catered for our needs. We were joined by our lovely friend, actress and disability campaigner Sam Renke. We got free coffee’s from Starbucks across the road.
My daughter Emily was there, handing out badges from Changing Places to passers by.
Costumes were a talking point. We had a large toilet roll, a poo, a toilet, a giant teddy bear. The brilliant Rachel Nobes made props including enormous cotton buds. I made a cake based on the Bristol Stools Chart. Recipe from Eric the children’s bowel and bladder charity.
We had plenty of bloggers there, who like me are parents of children with disabilities, or have disabilities themselves. All fighting for Equality! Quite a team when we all get together. Shona Louise, Mum On A Mission, To Pee Or Not To Pee, Brody Me and GDD, Fraser and Friends. Don’t Pass The Buck, The Inclusive Home, Alison Beevers, Emma Loo Lady Spagnola
Other groups were Sky Badger, Irwin Mitchel Solicitors, Snap Care, Labour Candidate Jackie Schneider, Fab Little Bag, Scope. And these are only the people that I remember were there. There were so many more! Then we had all of our friends, supporters, followers people we had been sharing with on Facebook.
This was the first time that we had met in the REAL world.
Not surprisingly, we attracted a lot of attention. Look here for the ITV News Interview.
It was a brilliant day, a lot of people stopped and asked us what we were doing, and were really supportive, apart from one young couple who said what we were doing was “Completely inappropriate”. They obviously live in a world of sweet rainbows and flowers, where no one has to lie in wee and poo.
I’m so proud of all of us who were there. Well done Sarah Brisidion, this was a brilliant idea. So what’s next?