Two major Chelmsford festivals will pilot a Changing Places unit this summer to provide a top-quality facility for revellers with disabilities.
The mobile unit, acquired by Chelmsford City Council, will be available at the Fling Festival for ages 18+ and the sold-out 3Foot People Festival for under-5s, both taking place at Hylands Park.
Far bigger than a standard disabled-access toilet, it includes equipment such as a height-adjustable changing bench and a hoist for safety and comfort. A gently-sloped ramp leads up to the door.
The City Council acquired the unit after it was donated by Essex County Council. It had been stored at a caravan park for seven years and was in need of refurbishment to turn it into a modern, fit-for-purpose unit, which the City Council carried out.
It will first see action at the 3Foot People Festival from Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 July, then the Fling Festival on Saturday 6 July. Following the trial at the two festivals, it is intended that the mobile unit will be used at other events and venues around Chelmsford for years to come.
To access the unit, you will need to be registered for a key, which also works at Changing Places around the city. You can do this online at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/changingplaces.
Councillor Marie Goldman, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Connected Chelmsford, said, "Our festivals are for everyone to enjoy and there should be no barriers to anyone wanting to come out and have a good time in Chelmsford. We often associate festivals with pretty basic facilities, which for some people is a real problem and can really put them off coming to events that they would otherwise enjoy.
"With a line-up including top comedians, international music acts and an eclectically fun array of entertainment, the Fling Festival is sure to be popular and, with tickets still available, I hope that anyone who has previously been nervous about going to an outdoor festival because of lack of disabled facilities will be encouraged by this news to come and enjoy themselves."
For more information about Fling Festival, please visit www.flingfestival.com.
Tuesday 18 June 2019