To mark UN World Toilet Day, Bristol Ageing Better is celebrating the brilliant work done by one Kick-Start funded project.
World Toilet Day might sound like a silly Twitter hashtag, but it’s actually serious business. Created by the United Nations, it’s designed to raise awareness of poor access to sanitation around the world.
So what’s that got to do with us here in Bristol, you might say? Older people suffer more from continence problems than the general public, and not being confident about finding a bathroom can leave many older people unable to leave the house.
Bristol Ageing Better Programme Director Adam Rees said: “There are many things that can contribute to isolation and loneliness. Feeling unable to leave the house because you’re worried about being able to find a loo shouldn’t be one of them.
“We were very pleased to fund Ben Barker through the Community Kick-Start fund to update the much-used Bedminster Toilet Map.”
The toilet map is a fantastic community resource highlighting public spaces like cafes, museums and shopping centres where people can use the bathroom free of charge. Its first incarnation was created when members of the Greater Bedminster Older People’s Forum approached shops and local businesses and asked them to appear on the map.
The version of the map funded by Bristol Ageing Better was the third to be produced, and funding from the Community Kick-Start project covered the cost of printing the maps.
Ben said: “Of the 15 boxes of maps that we had printed earlier this year, we’re now down to three. It’s clear that the map is popular!”
“We’ve taken part in research showing that people feel anxious about going into a café to use the facilities without buying anything. What the map is, really, is permission to enter. Shopkeepers benefit from a potential increase in goodwill and of course, the knowledge that they’re doing something to help others.”
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