Strawberry Field, the Salvation Army centre in Liverpool immortalised by John Lennon, has seen the investment of some £8m in the creation of the first ever visitor facilities on the site, alongside a place for spiritual reflection and vocational training & work placement hub- Steps to Work- for young people with learning disabilities and other barriers to employment.
To ensure all users can make the most of their time there, a Changing Places toilet facility has been supplied and installed by Closomat.
Changing Places toilets provide more space and equipment than conventional wheelchair-accessible WCs, to meet the needs of people of all ages who need help to deal with their intimate hygiene. Closomat’s installation at Strawberry Field gives users a peninsular WC with a full room cover ceiling track hoist, height adjustable adult-sized changing bench, height adjustable washbasin, and privacy screen, in a 12m2 room.
Julia Baird, John Lennon’s sister and Honorary President of the Strawberry Field project, said: “I’ve been really impressed by The Salvation Army’s vision and now there is huge potential to make a real change in the lives of young people who will grow in the precious soil of Strawberry Field.”
Salvation Army Territorial Commander, Commissioner Anthony Cotterill said: “John Lennon found sanctuary here as a child and that’s exactly what we want to offer by opening the Strawberry Field gates for good. We know thousands of Beatles fans already visit the site and we saw an opportunity to channel that interest into a responsible tourist attraction that will support local people and businesses.
“The Salvation Army ran a children’s home at Strawberry Field from 1936 until 2005. In that time, we helped some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable children. Today, we are using Strawberry Field to give Liverpool’s young people a step onto the employment ladder. I like to think that John Lennon would be pleased that his special association with Strawberry Field is being used in this way.”
Under British Standards (BS8300:2018), it is best practice to provide a Changing Places toilet in addition to conventional accessible facilities in buildings where the public spend time. The Government is also reviewing making them an obligatory requirement in new buildings or major refurbishments. Closomat has become the leader in the design, supply, installation and subsequent maintenance of Changing Places; its website www.closomat.co.uk is now the go to’ location for support information for all involved in the specification and build process, with NBS specifications, CAD blocks, white papers and guidance notes all available for free download.