A CAMPAIGN to make Bournemouth more accessible for disabled people has been stepped up to help connect the community and boost tourism.

Bournemouth People First, an advocacy group run for and by people with learning disabilities, is raising awareness about accessible toilet provision in the town centre and seafront.

They have backed the Changing Places campaign along with charity Access Dorset which aims to cater for those with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their carers. Amanda Parsons, from Bournemouth People First, said: “We want to leave a lasting legacy and really make Bournemouth an accessible town and break down the barriers for those people with disabilities.”

“At the moment it is very difficult for people with severe disabilities to spend any longer than an hour or two out of their homes as there are just not adequate facilities.

“That is why the Changing Places toilets are so crucial, because they give enough space and the right equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist.”

Bournemouth People First is currently marking out all the accessible and Changing Places toilets on a map which they will upload to their website at www.out right.org.uk A Bournemouth Council task group spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Cllr Phil-Stanley-Watts will be looking at accessible toilets provision and baby changing facilities in the town.

He said: “Bournemouth is a top tourist resort and we need adequate facilities.

“We need to cater for the very elderly and the severely disabled, as well as those with young families.”

There are currently 11 toilets with disabled access on the seafront and 20 public toilets with disabled access in the town. There are also Changing Places toilets in the Lower gardens and at the Kinson Hub.

Cllr David Kelsey, equality and diversity champion for Bournemouth council, said: “We are committed to providing good-quality, clean and accessible public toilets for residents and visitors in key locations in the town.”