In 2018 MK Dons celebrated Weeks of Action as part of their Ability Counts Day and officially launched their Changing Places toilet facility.
A Changing Places toilet essentially has an adult sized changing bench, a hoist and extra circulation space. An estimated 250,000 people in the UK require these facilities.
There was an amazing story behind this project, it all started in 2016 when MK Dons Supporters Association responded to a request from a young disabled season ticket holder, Kieron Norton.
The MKDSA started fundraising to build the Changing Places and with support from the home improvement retailer Wickes, its social enterprise partner Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) and young volunteers from Milton Keynes College the project was delivered ahead of time.
Kieron and his parents, accompanied by the Mayor of Milton Keynes, were delighted to be invited to open the facility.
Rex Burton, MK Dons Supporters Association committee member said, “The MKDSA’s Changing Places Project was originally started in support of one MK Dons fan that was in desperate need of this type of facility. The project bought together the fans, club, community, and other organisations that donated time, supplies, and volunteers, who all came together, raised the funds, and built the facility we have today in record time. It is now available for all that need it, and is a reminder to everyone of what can be achieved when we all pull together.”
Ruth Hopkins, General Manager and Head of Access and Development at Level Playing Field said, “Everyone deserves the right to appropriate toilet facilities. Level Playing Field recommends Changing Places facilities are provided at all sports grounds and we were pleased to hear about the project at MK Dons.”
“A Changing Places facility can be a deciding factor whether someone goes to the match. The alternatives for many disabled people are to be changed on the toilet floor or not go to the game at all. Surely, in 2019 this is not acceptable.”
“The fact that the Supporters Association at MK Dons recognised the importance of this facility and organised the fundraising is to be congratulated. Teaming up with construction students from the local college to do the work was a great idea and meant the whole community was involved. Hopefully other clubs can be inspired to do something similar.”