As Swindon approaches Christmas and the fun and frolics of panto season, Swindon Theatres are on a mission to create an accessible experience for even more families this year by hiring a specialist mobile toilet for guests with additional needs.
The fully attended vehicle, known as a Mobiloo, comes complete with an adult-sized bench and a hoist, providing those with disabilities a more accessible and dignified facility than many fixed toilets can offer them.
In fact, there are over a quarter of a million people in the UK for whom a standard accessible toilet does not meet their needs, often meaning they face the choice between staying at home or risking injury or infection by having their personal care needs met on a public toilet floor – an occurrence that the Wyvern Theatre want to help eliminate this Christmas.
“We’re so excited to see the return of our annual pantomime next month and want to be able to involve as many families as possible in our celebrations”, explains Community & Education Officer Kate Claxton. “I’ve been working closely with the fabulous Mums on a Mission Swindon to find ways we can make our Relaxed Performance of Jack and the Beanstalk even more accessible for our local community, and it’s clear that a Mobiloo would make a huge difference for many. We now just need a little help to raise the money.”
Mobiloo are a registered charity and do subsidise hire fees with donations, but the theatre needs to raise the remaining £495 to provide this much-needed facility and are asking the town to get involved with fundraising, with the support of local campaign group Mum’s on a Mission.
"We're absolutely delighted that there is a prospect of a Mobiloo coming to the Wyvern for this year's Relaxed Performance of Jack and Beanstalk!” says Mum’s on a Mission’s Anna Bird. “In the past we've had terrible experiences of changing our children on cold, dirty toilet floors and it is absolutely heart-breaking. But these facilities will allow us to meet our children's toileting needs in a safe, hygienic, and dignified way"
"When children with disabilities get older things like baby changing facilities become completely unsuitable for them. But they deserve to have all the same experiences as any other child, and that includes going to watch the panto! We're very confident that the brilliant team at the Wyvern will raise the funds for the Mobiloo, along with our support. And we're so excited now about the relaxed performance that we've just booked tickets!"
Taking place on Friday 10th December at 1pm, the Relaxed Performance of Jack and the Beanstalk is a specially adapted staging of the pantomime, suitable for customers who find it difficult to cope with a traditional theatre atmosphere due to having learning difficulties or conditions such as those on the Autism Spectrum.
The performance is open to everyone and may also appeal to parents or schools of children who are sensitive to loud noises or don’t like the dark. The Mobiloo will be parked just outside of the theatre’s ramped entrance for the duration of this performance.
For anyone who is able to donate to this fantastic cause, please follow this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mobiloo-hire-for-jack-and-the-beanstalk. Anyone who’d like to be more involved with fundraising activity can contact Kate Claxton at Kate@wyverntheatre.org.uk. Tickets for the Relaxed Performance of Jack and the Beanstalk are available to book online at swindontheatre.co.uk or by calling 0343 310 0040.