Stanwick Lakes, the picturesque nature reserve and countryside attraction park near Wellingborough, in Northamptonshire, is proud to announce the imminent introduction of a Changing Places facilities, a vital addition to enhance accessibility for all visitors.
Led by North Northamptonshire Council and powered by £330,000 of the Government’s Levelling Up fund along with further investment from the Council’s capital programme, new toilet facilities will across the county will help people who are limited in their mobility, by making sure they have the necessary equipment to meet their needs when they are out and about. This has been demonstrated by Changing Places facilities installed at similar sites within Northamptonshire.
The Changing Places facilities at Stanwick Lakes are specially designed restrooms, equipped with accessible features including:
- Powered height-adjustable changing table
- Raising and lowering sink
- Movable ceiling hoist
- Grab rails
- Non-slip flooring
- Privacy screens
- Large clear space to accommodate wheelchair users and their carers
Stanwick Lakes welcomes 250,000 visitors each year to enjoy the wetland habitat, which is a designated SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) as well as a heritage site of national significance. There is also an expansive range of natural outdoor play equipment and an outdoor theatre. Current facilities at the site will remain open during the Changing Places construction period, with minimal disruption for visitors whilst the work is taking place.
This initiative signifies a significant commitment to creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment, and it aligns perfectly with the charity’s ongoing mission to make nature and heritage stories accessible to everyone.
Kate Chadwick, Executive Director of Stanwick Lakes, expressed her enthusiasm about the project, stating, “We are delighted to introduce these Changing Places facilities to Stanwick Lakes. This investment allows us to make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families, regardless of their mobility challenges, so they can experience our nature reserve and the rich history offered by our heritage projects. We believe that this addition will not only make a positive difference in the lives of our visitors but also inspire a sense of unity and inclusion within our community of visitors. We are committed to ensuring that Stanwick Lakes remains an accessible and welcoming destination for everyone, where they can connect with nature and enjoy our diverse range of activities.”
Key features of the forthcoming Changing Places facility at Stanwick Lakes include:
- **Enhanced Mobility:** Spacious changing areas, height-adjustable adult-sized changing benches, hoists, and support equipment will be provided to assist visitors with disabilities
- **Dignity and Comfort:** The facility is designed to provide privacy and comfort, prioritizing the dignity of all users.
- **Convenient Accessibility:** Stanwick Lakes has strategically located the facility within the park to ensure easy access for all visitors.
This milestone builds on Stanwick Lakes’ commitment to improving accessibility for everyone. In addition to the Changing Places facilities, the park has recently unveiled plans to build a new accessible garden, with raised beds and chair friendly garden work stations. This will sit adjacent to the existing Wellbeing Orchard, which offers space for relaxation and contemplation. Stanwick Lakes also collaborates closely with local community groups such as Tomorrow’s Trust, Headway and the Younger People with Dementia team, to further enhance accessibility and provide support to visitors with specific needs.
The new Changing Places facilities will be located opposite the current outdoor facilities. As part of the work, a traditional stone wall has been skillfully removed by Community Outreach. This will be re-constructed traditionally once works are complete, although not necessarily in the same location.
The contractor RISE will be starting on site on Monday 16th October to begin the ground works for the Changing Places Modular which will be installed. Initial works are expected to take one week. They will then return in November to deliver and install the modular unit.
Stanwick Lakes invites all to explore the nature reserve this winter and enjoy our recreational offerings, free from physical limitations. This project is set to be completed by late November and the park eagerly anticipates its positive impact on the community.