Jedburgh firm hoping to improve facilities for disabled people

A prototype portable changing place unit created by Jedburgh business man Michael Wares.
A prototype portable changing place unit created by Jedburgh business man Michael Wares.

A Jedburgh firm aiming to improve facilities for disabled people is aiming to lead a national campaign championing the cause of the severely disabled.

Portable Changing Places, established by businessman Michael Wares this summer, is creating custom-designed toilet and changing units from its existing Bankend South facility.

It comes after figures revealed around 250,000 severely disabled people suffer from a lack of decent facilities. The new firm has launched a prototype modular toilet that could help achieve government backed guidelines, and hopes to develop a UK-wide network of facilities in railway and bus stations, shopping centres, hospitals, supermarkets and tourist attractions.

Mr Wares said: “While there are plenty of disabled toilets there are a lack of these portable ones which are specialised in that people requiring a hoist to be lifted out of the chair can use it.”

“We are about to embark on a national campaign that will introduce the package to potential buyers.

“It has the potential to vastly improve quality of life for severely disabled people all over the country.

“At the moment they and their carers are at a disadvantage as soon as they venture out because most places are not geared up to accommodate them properly.”

The businessman, who also owns Michael Wares Cater Hire had a prototype unit created at his Bankend Industrial Estate base.

He says a custom designed unit from Portable Changing Places is significantly lower in cost than others in the marketplace, making it a more cost-effective option without sacrificing quality.

Mr Wares added: “I have been making kitchen, dishwashing units, freezer units, and accommodation units for years. We used to build entire villages with these units when the oil industry was going full blast in Scotland, so it made sense to use these easily to adapt units to create this type of facility.”