Volunteer Tony Clough has been awarded an MBE for his campaign to increase the provision of Changing Places toilet facilities in public venues.
Tony began his campaign after seeing his mother, Margaret, struggling to meet the accessibility requirements of his disabled sister, Julie, when they were away from home using standard accessible toilet facilities.
Now there are over 840 Changing Places toilets in the UK, with potentially 5 million disabled people able to access toilet facilities that are larger than a standard accessible toilet, and include a height-adjustable bench, a hoist and room for up two personal assistants.
Tony said, “Seeing Mum and Julie struggle on a daily basis to do even a weekly food shop, or go anywhere for more than an hour or two, inspires me to keep campaigning. Hopefully, I can use the honour to help raise awareness, open more doors, and change the law so that every public building or venue has a wheelchair-accessible toilet, adult-sized changing bench and hoist,”
One area that is close to Tony’s heart is seeing Changing Places installed at all major sports venues in the country, saying, “I’d at least like them, as a sports fan, in all sports stadia’.
Currently, just 8 football clubs in the UK have Changing Places facilities with West Ham due to become the 9th with their upcoming move to the Olympic Stadium. The Principality Stadium in Cardiff also has a Changing Places toilet.
Fellow campaigner and LPF member Martin Emery praised Tony’s efforts ,”Tony Clough has been campaigning for Changing Places since the idea was first put out there. In that time Tony has contacted countless companies. He has been instrumental in the success of campaigns, including my own campaign to get Changing Places at Old Trafford.”
“Tony is one of those guys, that says I can do that, and will. He never takes no for an answer, and knows a fob off when he is sent one. Changing Places wouldn’t be where it is today without Tony.”
Level Playing Field wish to congratulate Tony on his MBE and for his tireless campaigning over the years.