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Sheffield Accessible Toilet Campaign

Published on 25 September 2019 04:17 PM

Loo-k out for Older People in Sheffield - Our new Campaign 

Sheffield businesses must do better at opening their doors to local people who need to spend a penny.
Age UK Sheffield has launched a campaign to get 100 locations in the city to make their toilet facilities freely available by Christmas, to those most in danger of getting caught short, such as older people, those living with long-term health conditions, or parents with toddlers.

Only seven city centre venues are signed up to Sheffield BID’s LAVS (Lavatory and Ablution Venue Scheme) and we feel that this is nowhere near good enough.

Steve Chu explains that “Sheffield is one of England’s largest cities, yet there are only seven city centre premises signed up to the LAVS scheme. It is not acceptable for a city that wants to be Age Friendly, and I am calling for change by the end of the year.

“People are more likely to get out and about, go shopping, and spend money in the local economy, if they know they won’t get caught short. This isn’t just an older people’s issue. Thousands of Sheffielders of all ages are living with long-term health conditions and this is also a vital issue for parents of babies and toddlers.”
He added: “I recognise this cannot be a free-for-all, and that businesses can’t open their doors to anyone who wants to come in. But where people are genuinely in need of somewhere to go, they should be welcomed.”

Some people need to plan their journeys and activities around access to toilets. Some don’t even drink when they go out so that they can avoid needing to find a toilet that is suitable for their needs.
Unfortunately, cuts and privatisation have led to the closure of many public toilets across the country.

The BBC reports that UK councils stopped maintaining around 13% of public toilets between 2010 and 2018.

Age UK Sheffield has launched a campaign to get 100 public places in the city to make their facilities available to those who need them. The charity will produce a directory of all places which have signed up in time for the busy Christmas shopping period.

Better access to toilets means that everyone will have better access to the community, the city and all that it has to offer. We think that is definitely something worth fighting for.

We would love as many people to help as possible! For further details about how to get involved and sign up for the scheme, please contact Cally at or phone Age UK Sheffield on (0114) 250 2850.