The new Changing Places facility at MK Gallery image

MK Gallery in Milton Keynes is the latest venue to complete the installation of a Changing Places facility, helping disabled visitors to have an inclusive experience at the gallery.

The installation is part of a redevelopment of the gallery, which began in 2016, and incorporates a Ropox StandardLine wash basin and shower/changing bed and Guldmann GH3 Hoist, all of which were supplied and installed by Taylor Dolman for the main contractor of the project.

MK Gallery received funding for the new Changing Places unity from the Milton Keynes Community Foundation.

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Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director of MK Gallery, explained: “The main drive behind the redevelopment was to create a better social space with enhanced access to the building and gallery facilities so we could broaden our programme of events and exhibitions and make them as accessible as possible and the Changes Places facility was a vital part of this.

“We are delighted with the equipment which has been installed and I know it is going to help our many visitors with a disability. When we received the on-site training, we were all surprised by how user friendly all the equipment is and I have no doubt visitors will be able to use it with confidence.”

Ropox is a provider of accessible bathing solutions and as part of the installation, its height adjustable StandardLine basin and height adjustable shower changing bed were recommended by Taylor Dolman.

The new Changing Places facility at MK Gallery image

The basin has been designed to incorporate enough legroom for wheelchair users to comfortably access the basin and the user or their carer can alter the height of the basin at the touch of a button integrated into the top of the basin.

The Ropox height adjustable shower changing bed can be folded up when not in use to save space and the height can be set to the ideal level for the user and carer using the electric adjustment control.

With a maximum user weight of 220kg and a height adjustment from 300mm to 1000mm, the changing bed is suitable for most users. To ensure the user is comfortable, the bed’s slats feature a soft top side, and to help with cleaning, the slats can be easily removed.

To facilitate safe and comfortable transfers, a Guldmann GH3 room covering ceiling hoist system has been installed in the Changing Places toilet. With a maximum lifting capacity of 200kg, the GH3 was chosen as it will meet the hoisting requirements of most visitors to the gallery along with their carer, family member or friend.

Unlike some tracked hoists which only charge when connected to a docking system, the batteries in the GH3 are continually recharged, regardless of where the hoist is positioned on the track, offering peace of mind to staff and users.

Kate concluded: “Our Changing Places is only the second one in Central Milton Keynes, and it will not just benefit users of the Gallery but the surrounding community as it will be open to the general public.”

She also added that making the gallery inclusive to the general public has been an exciting experience and MK Gallery can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Peter Davies, from Ropox, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in yet another successful Changing Places installation and receive such positive feedback from the team at MK Gallery.  We all know how much people need and appreciate the Changing Places facilities around the UK and look forward to being involved in many more in 2019.”

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