The National Botanic Garden of Wales, situated in the River Tywi valley, Wales, is of huge importance to Welsh heritage, nationally and within a local community. The first national botanic garden to be opened in the new millennium, the site holds over 8,000 different types of plants, spread across 560 acres of beautiful countryside.
Providing easy access to as much of this important green space as possible to people with disabilities has always been a priority — accessibility was recently boosted with the addition of a brand-new Changing Places toilet.
Facilities and Operations Manager, Dennis Cattell contacted RISE Adaptations when the time was right for a Changing Places project to start at the garden. This had been discussed for many years by the team at the park and became a personal mission for Dennis to get completed before his departure for another role.
Rather than opting for a modular Changing Places toilet, an ideal position was located for the facility — an old existing male toilet block that needed further attention anyway. RISE took on the project, quickly preparing a full design and scope of works to maximise the Botanic Garden budget by converting the existing block into a Changing Places toilet.
RISE delivered a fully managed package that included fitting a suspended ceiling system, a complete renovation of internal and exterior walls, and then moving on to all first and second fix electrical and plumbing. The project included sourcing and installing all the equipment required to enable the Garden to immediately register as an official Changing Places toilet.
The project progressed without any issues; however, a slight challenge was presented by the existing doorway to the old toilet block which was too narrow for wheelchair access. We created a new, wider opening and installed a DDA steel door to keep the toilet secure. Another large job was the chopping out of the existing reinforced concrete slab to accept a new floor gully.
To ensure the facility was safe and ready for use, we tested all equipment, including ceiling track hoist and changing bench.
Marketing Officer, Jac Towler was pleased with the results:
“Rise were fantastic from start to finish. They managed everything, from scoping the project to helping register us as an official Changing Places and kept us informed at every step. I would highly recommend them.”
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is remarkable for many reasons — they possess the world’s largest single-span glasshouse and care for some of the world’s rarest plants. Visitor numbers are set to increase even further this year with the award-winning Regency Restoration project now complete.
These wonders need to be shared with as many people as possible and a Changing Places toilet will go a long way to encourage more visitors to come and view the renovated areas of the Garden as well as the many other attractions.
Welcoming more people was something Head of Marketing and Communications, David Hardy was particularly thrilled about:
“We are so excited that we can welcome people of all abilities into our beautiful gardens and exhibits. Our Changing Places means that anyone can come and enjoy themselves, or stop longer, without worrying about personal care. We talked about getting a CP facility for years and I am so pleased we did it.”
As usual, our scope of works was comprehensive. Our turnkey service included:
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To learn more about Changing Places, why not download our brochure or attend one of our monthly online seminars.
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