A few years back in 2016 (which seems a lifetime ago) Inspire Colchester was formed. It was initially a vehicle to promote the town but it developed into a campaign tool.
We were successful in raising awareness for a number of issues but namely Changing Places. My campaign took me to the Houses of Parliament which allowed me to discuss the matter with the Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health which at the time was Penny Moudrant MP.
This resulted in public consultations with some the UK’s largest venues and awareness was at an all time high.
This culminated in various campaigners putting on so much pressure that the Government moved from only having around 40 changing places at hospitals to 100. This is on top of £30m for changing places to be allocated between 191 councils with the UK. There are now 1300 registered and moving to 1813 by end of 2022.
In 2017, my persistence (in part, I wont take all the credit as Theresa Higgins did a lot of work too along with Sue Lissimore) a Changing Places was installed in Colchester at the Library.
I was proud, to accompany my Son in opening the venue. As it is him I do this for. Still cannot believe that I opened a toilet!
The campaigning did not stop and managed to get a question asked in House of Commons and completed a Tedx Talk on the subject. I was also asked by LinkedIn to write an article on the subject for workplaces and was commissioned by business consultancy GJC for a further Thought Leadership booklet on workplace accessibility, that is available for new and growing businesses.
It has led me to consult with various hospitality brands on the importance of the customer journey for people with disabilities and the untapped Purple Pound.
I also spoke with Google with regards to creating an online accessibility guide for people with disabilities for all retail outlets and venues in the UK (I did ask the World). Not as successful with this, but I will grind Google down eventually.
The point of this blog is that I have that itch again and after tackling the UK Government, Essex County Council and the Worlds 5th biggest company it is time for another campaign and try and do some good again.
So research is done, target selected and hopefully they go down the path of least resistance at early stage. I am reforming the band!!
Watch this space……