Children in Need

Last year I wrote this, to go with our obligatory ‘children dressed up for Children in Need’ photo, on insta….

I reckon it’s still much how I feel about the whole Children in Need thing.

Charity can be such a tricky thing.  Fluctuating between pity and inspiration, but I guess needs must to some extent to bring in the money.

I love seeing families, some very like ours, benefiting from great work of local groups who receive CIN funding.  Even if they there was more government funding for the more essential things, there’s always a need for grants and funding for the more innovative and progressive projects so, hey ho!

Anyway… it’s awesome to see so many big name celebs and big brands/companies supporting, so I have another challenge for them!

Two things (which you may have heard me mention before) would help to make some of those children a little less in need….

  • to be able to live comfortably at home, get around, and be properly included in family life, and
  • to be able to go out with your family and friends wherever you like….

Sooo…

If you are involved in anyway in the homebuilding or home design industry, please have a think about the homes you design, build, write about.  Are they inclusive? Would one of those disabled or poorly children on-screen be able to live there? Disability and illness can strike at any time, as you can see on the CIN clips, people need their homes to be able to be flexible enough to accommodate them at that time.  Who wants to have to start a massive building project or home move in the midst of a health crisis? And aside from their own home, nobody wants to be cooped up in one place indefinitely! We, like most families, want to be able to visit and stay with our friends and family. If my kid’s cousins live in one of your houses would we be able to come and visit and stay?

If you are in the design, construction or service industry, how accessible are your accessible toilets?  Do you have customer/visitor toilets that ALL disabled people can use? J, like many of the children I’ve seen on the TV tonight, cannot use regular accessible toilets as she needs changing places toilets, with a bit more space and a changing table.  Many of our friends also need a ceiling hoist to help to lift them (as do many disabled adults).  These are not complicated things (a bed and a simple motor with a lifting device) but very very few places have them.  The west end of London has none!

If you are a celeb, would you lend your voice to help campaign for these things, which would help enable so many children to experience the same normal things as their peers, and to be more independent?

If you are a big act maybe you could start to add this as a rider!  For example if a venue doesn’t have a changing places toilet, how about compelling them to hire a Mobiloo mobile accessible toilet to make sure all of your fans could attend? It may encourage the venue to install a permanent changing places loo too, if they realise that’s a condition of getting big acts to book with them!?

Whatever your sphere of influence, perhaps there is something you can do to help inclusion for these ‘children in need’?

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6 Comments

  1. November 17, 2018 / 9:29 am

    Lots of very good points! It’s sad that something that should be simple like toiletting is such an issue. It’s 2018, you’d think we’d be more inclusive x

    • November 17, 2018 / 11:58 am

      I know it’s such a shame, as these things are really very easy to do if they are considered at design stage, or during refurbishments, and would make a massive difference to lots of those families (and ours!) featured on CiN.

  2. November 17, 2018 / 9:49 am

    Strike while the iron is hot. Lobby hard for changing places and access ramps. Lobby all the celebs you can think of who were or were not on the show last night. WE only need a few but chr in need raises the profile of disability so stick with it ,small acorns / beginnings grow into great results/oaks . Good luck

    • November 17, 2018 / 11:56 am

      It would be great to have a few people take this to their hearts wouldn’t it!

  3. November 17, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    Great post especially as I share your opinions. As a designer I think about inclusion alot, my hubby is paraplegic so I always think of him when creating space but others need prompting.
    I’ll take up your challenge and will write about it for sure.
    Toilets are a particular irritation of mine as, i’m sure you know, they are few and far between and are awful on many occasions for those who need assistance. Much more needs to be done.

    • November 17, 2018 / 1:13 pm

      Thank you! That would be awesome if you’d join me in writing more about accessible design. The more of us that do the more people will listen (I hope!)! I’ve just found you on instagram, I love what you are doing!

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