The ‘Changing Places’ is in the lower gardens of Bournemouth, just a short walk from the main shopping centre and it is located next to public toilets, accessed externally from the park. At the door, there was no ‘Changing Places’ symbol to indicate that it was a ‘Changing Places’, rather there was only a standard wheelchair symbol to indicate it as a disabled toilet. Though there was a sign next to the door outside, displaying the facilities located in the bathroom, which did list the accommodations in a ‘Changing Places’. There is a radar key lock into the bathroom which is a good way to keep the toilet accessible to those who need it, but unfortunately if you didn’t have your own key, there was no one around to help. A sign instructed to ask an attendee for a radar key, but there was no staff around to ask. Fortunately, I had my own RADAR key so I was able to access it, but there wasn’t even a number for us to call if we needed anything.
Inside the ‘Changing Places’ it was overall a decent size, but it wasn’t very clean or looked like a typical facility. The bathroom felt more treated like a storage room, with cleaning supplies lining the floor, and tools with hardware in boxes and a ladder against the wall which made the space feel more like a spare room, then a toilet. Aside from the main door, there was another open door in the space that led to a closet, full of additional construction tools. This made it feel not very private, and added to the uncleanliness of the facility. Out of all the facilities, the ceiling hoist was the only accommodation I could see in the room, as there wasn’t even a changing bed included. The bathroom had a sink and toilet, and what appeared to be a shower, but didn’t include everything a ‘Changing Places’ should have. The ceiling hoist itself wasn’t usable, as it was inoperative and again, there was no number provided for someone to call and ask for help. Later in the evening, we did go back to use these public toilets, and as we checked out the ‘Changing Places’ once more, an attendee spotted us and asked us if we needed a key to get inside. We spoke to them and told them of the unworking hoist, and he said it would speak to someone about it, however it didn’t feel promising.
Overall, we had to find an alternative toilet for myself to use, and the ‘Changing Places’ in the lower gardens of Bournemouth is a poor imitation of what it should be. I felt like it gave the Bournemouth council an achievement for having one installed, though it wasn’t properly finished, and it feels as if they are not bothered to complete it or fix it.