Changing places riding high

“You can’t turn people away because you haven’t got a toilet.”

So says Sorrel Taylor, centre manager at Clwyd Special Riding Centre. And she won’t have to turn away anyone now, with the installation of a ‘state-of-the-art’ Changing Places toilet facility for visitors, supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat as a result of fund-raising activities by the Centre.

Founded 30 years ago, the Centre provides equine therapy opportunities for children and adults with additional needs. The team of 24 specially-trained ponies and horses, a mechanical horse, 11 staff and over 150 volunteers provide opportunities for visitors to experience time with a horse, ranging from just spending groundwork time with an equine, riding,  to carriage driving, show jumping, and hippotherapy. Visitors can come for just a couple of hours, or take advantage of a residential equestrian holiday.

Sorrel explained:

“Horses mirror our emotions: they offer experimental learning and allow for development in confidence, non verbal communication, self-awareness and overall wellbeing. We are constantly striving to develop the Centre to be able to offer opportunities for a greater number of individuals. Many of our visitors do need help going to the toilet, so the Changing Places facility is a much anticipated development.”

Larger than a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet, to give space for the user and up to two carers, the Changing Places also has as standard a hoist and adult-sized height adjustable changing bench. Clwyd Special Riding Centre’s facility also features a Clos-o-Mat Palma Vita wash & dry toilet in place of a traditional WC: looking like, and capable of being used as a conventional toilet, the Palma Vita has built-in washing & drying facilities, so the user is efficiently and hygienically cleaned without them, or their carer(s) having to manually wipe with toilet tissue.

Sorrel added:

“Including the Clos-o-Mat means all people accessing the Centre will be confident that their needs can be accommodated.”

Under current building guidelines and legislation, Changing Places toilets are now ‘desirable’ in any building to which the public has access. Since the concept was devised, over 800 have been opened in venues across the country.

Clos-o-Mat is Britain’s biggest provider of fully accessible toilets, including a substantial number of Changing Places facilities. It is unique in its ability to deliver in-house design advice, supply, installation, commissioning, project management and maintenance across the ambit of accessible toileting equipment, including the Clos-o-Mat wash and dry (automatic) toilet. To help leisure venues  ‘get it right’, Clos-o-Mat has a raft of downloadable information on its website,, including sector-specific white papers, CAD blocks, room renders and videos.