The theme for this year’s MPS Awareness Day on May 15th is ‘My MPS Hero’. I think most of you will be able to guess who that is for me!
But today my heroes are completely different.
I’ve mentioned the campaign to get more Changing Places toilets installed before. Although provision is growing, there are still however only 1104 in the whole country. To put that into context, research suggests that there are over a quarter a million people with severe disabilities who cannot use a standard accessible toilet and need the extra facilities that a Changing Places loo provides. A quarter of a million adults and children who have no choice but to either stay at home, sit in their own waste or be changed in inadequate conditions.
Today to highlight this issue there is a fantastic group of people sitting in a Bathstore shop window in Baker St, London with their pants down. Shocking? Not as shocking as lying your child on a toilet floor.
Some people have criticised this way of raising awareness, saying surely it’s better to put together a petition, speak to government and try to get the regulations changed. But do you know what, all those have been tried already. Maybe this way, people will actually sit up and take notice and wonder what it is really like to have no rights to dignity. After all, any one of us could end up with a life-changing disability and be in this situation too.
As Sarah Brisidon, the pants-tastic organiser of this event says, she’s doing it ‘because my little boy (& every disabled person) deserves more than a toilet floor’.
If you want to get involved and can’t get down to Baker St in person to gawp (um, I mean support), you can take your own #looselfie and share on social media using the hashtag #Pantsdown4equality
Here’s mine! It’s only a small contribution, but the real heroes are those who keep on campaigning for change and will go to almost any lengths to make it happen.
PS. Once you’ve finished celebrating these heroes, don’t forget to wear blue on 15th May for MPS!