Emirates Stadium has launched the 600th 'Changing Places' fully accessible disabled toilet.
Changing Places toilets are larger than a standard disabled toilet and include a height-adjustable bench, a hoist and room for two carers.
Arsenal fan and Mencap campaigns assistant, Leroy Binns, who has a learning disability, officially opened the facility alongside journalist and fellow Arsenal supporter, Alex Brooker, who is best known for his work with Channel 4 and its coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games.
The Changing Places facility is just one of a number of continued investments the Club makes for its disabled supporters and forms an important part of Arsenal’s equality and diversity campaign, ‘Arsenal for Everyone’, which strives to ensure supporters, staff and everyone connected to Arsenal Football Club feels an equal sense of belonging.
We want all visitors to Emirates Stadium to feel like they belong here and enjoy an equal matchday experience
Alun Francis, Arsenal's disability liaison officer, said: “We are all incredibly proud to be the first Premier League stadium to install a Changing Places toilet. Arsenal values everyone connected to the Club and we want all visitors to Emirates Stadium to feel like they belong here and enjoy an equal matchday experience without the stress that standard disabled toilets can cause.”
Leroy Binns said: “I have campaigned for a Premier League football club to install a Changing Places toilet for years. Many people with a disability who are huge football fans can’t watch their favourite teams at their ground as the toilets are not suitable for them.
“I am delighted my club Arsenal are the first in the Premier League to install the toilet, which will make the ground far more accessible to fans with a disability. I hope other Premier League teams follow and realise the importance of stadiums having equal access to fans with a disability.”
The 600th toilet at Emirates Stadium is a huge milestone for the Changing Places campaign, which for the past eight years has called for an increase in the number of fully accessible toilets in public places so that people who need them can enjoy the same freedoms as everyone else.
Changing Places toilets have been installed in shopping centres, museums, hospitals, airports and many other public places such as the O2 and Olympic Park and are now being installed across Europe.
Lucy Hemingway of Aveso, a specialist in the design and installation of Changing Places toilets said: “As sponsors of the Changing Places Campaign we are proud to manufacture and recommend the equipment for such a valuable and important facility.
"The Arsenal FC Changing Places toilet will enable thousands of fans to experience and enjoy the game in the knowledge that both themselves and their family/carer can enjoy a stress-free day out. This Changing Places facility sets the bar for every Premier League club.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Apr 2014