Back in the late Summer of 2015, the SDSA asked the club about installing a Changing Places room at St Mary’s, for supporters that needed more equipment when their carers (including friends and family) helped them in the toilet. Supporters with the need for a Changing Places room would normally have decided to not attempt a match day, as it was hard for carers to help the supporter they were with in a dignified manner.
A changing Places room is much larger that a standard disabled toilet, and has more grab rails and a hoist and bed to help when the disabled person needs changing. The bed, and normally the sink too, have options to rise and lower electrically, to help the carer have everything at a comfortable height.
We continued to have discussions with the club over the next 12 months, never getting a definitive answer to whether a suitable location had been found, but we always felt it was high on the club’s to-do list,
At around the time of the SDSA Open Day in August 2016, we were told that a location had been found, and it would be completed in October.
At our November meeting, we were told it was ready, but was having a few post final inspection tweaks sorted, so would be first used during a home match very soon.
The club have announced that it will be available from the game against Everton (on Sunday 27th November 2016), and it is on the 1st floor on the Itchen stand, near the newly re-opened raised wheelchair area.
This location was chosen so that it could be used during the week by disabled people attending meetings in the suites as well as on matchdays.
If you sit in another stand, and wish to use the Changing Places room, please speak to your steward who will arrange for you to be taken there.
If you would like to know more about the Changing Places facility, please contact our Supporter Relations Team on 02380 711980 or via [email protected].