AVIVA fund could make real life changing opportunities for Thomas and so many others in Moray
After a conversation with a local family, Moray Sports Centre have put in a bid for the AVIVA Community Fund to help make the new centre as accessible as possible. MSC asked the community what they would like to see included in the new building and Gill Groves contacted them to ask for a ‘Changing Places’ room for her son Thomas. When Thomas was aged just 4-months, it was noticeable that he was not achieving age-appropriate milestones. Thomas is diagnosed with Quadriplegia Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy and Dystonia, a condition that requires full assistance with all activities of daily living. Unable to sit unaided Thomas requires assistance mobilising. Due to his condition, the family are restricted as to where they can go because of the lack of suitable toilet facilities across Moray. The ‘Changing Places’ room is an accessible toilet which includes a height adjustable changing bench, hoist, specialised equipment and adequate space to change and use the bathroom. There are currently only 3 of these for the whole of Moray, with limited opening hours. It will not only be Thomas who will benefit from this. According to the Long Term Conditions Alliance, around 40% of the Scottish population have disabilities. The population that could benefit from having this facility in Moray could be around 35,000.
Kathryn Evans, CEO of the centre said, “We’re so pleased that Thomas’s family brought this story to us. We can plan for these much-needed facilities and make a difference to so many. Thomas’ story offers an insight into the difficulties in Moray through the lack of fully accessible toilets.” “As a project, we really want to make a difference and improve opportunities for access to activities in Moray. We listen to all the feedback we are given and adopt as many requests as we can within our plans. The only drawback to being this inclusive is the price tag that is associated with it!” The AVIVA Community Fund offers up to £25,000 for projects that have received the most votes. Last year the centre managed to gain £500 from the fund but are hoping for more this year to help with the construction of the changing room. You can register to vote at the AVIVA website (https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-738)