* This post is not sponsored, meaning all opinions are my own and no one has paid AYL to share this. *
The AYL team recently visited the Kidz to Adultz North Exhibition, at EventCity in Manchester. Hosted by Disabled Living, there are over 100 exhibitors at each of their events, showcasing some of the best organisations, charities, services, and products designed to support adults and children living with disabilities. It really is a "one-stop-shop for the most up to date advice and information on mobility, funding, seating, beds, communication, sensory, transition, education, housing, employment, accessible vehicles, transport, style, sports, leisure and much, much more!"
One of the first organisations we met were Mobiloo, which provide mobile accessible toilets with a changing bench and hoist for hire. I have lost count of the number of events I have been to, which didn’t have adequate facilities for guests with disabilities; so, I was very excited to see their accessible van in person, after reading so many positive reviews online!
Not many people know that standard accessible toilets are only suitable for people who transfer out of a wheelchair and physically sit on a toilet (either with or without assistance). Putting anyone unable to do this at risk of injury and infection whilst using public facilities, as they are manually lifted out of their wheelchair and laid onto the floor of a toilet cubicle. Sadly toilets with Changing Places facilities are far and few between, which is why Mobiloo was created! Initially, it was developed by an organisation called Active Impact, to provide adequate toilet facilities during activity breaks and school trips for children with disabilities. But due to the ever-growing demand, Mobiloo now have over 10 vehicles throughout Britain! How fabulous is that?
Hiring a Mobiloo van is an easy way for event organisers to ensure their facilities are inclusive as possible, whilst also removing any bathroom-related hassle and stress for the guests. Something I would have greatly appreciated during a Little Mix concert at the Kent County Showground earlier this year, where the venue size, large crowds, and rough terrain, made it very difficult for disabled guests to safely get around. There was only one disabled toilet next to the accessible viewing area, creating long queues and a very dirty portaloo! Yet I couldn’t even get myself, my carer, and my wheelchair inside, despite the portaloo having a disabled sign on the front.
Because of these poor facilities, the little girl who sat next to me during the concert was forced to leave halfway through, which is unacceptable. Nobody should be forced to leave, simply because there are no facilities for their Carer to safely change them! Like many people, I fed this information back to the event holder, but I am still waiting for a response! I just hope they consider hiring a Mobiloo van in the future to prevent this from happening again!
For shorter bookings, Mobiloo is completely self-sufficient, meaning they do not require any access to electric, water or waste disposal to operate. They also ensure a friendly attendant is always on hand to assist guests and to keep the van clean. Their hire costs are very reasonable, but they are mainly driven by their mission to make as many events/venues as accessible as possible. Meaning, they will offer their services for free under certain circumstances. So, I would highly recommend getting in touch with them if you are looking to make an event/venue inclusive, or if you just simply want to know more!