Rotherham United are delighted to inform supporters that we have now implemented a new Changing Places facility at AESSEAL New York Stadium, which will be in operation prior to Saturday's Sky Bet Championship hosting of Queens Park Rangers at AESSEAL New York Stadium – a game which has been dedicated to supporting Level Playing Field’s Unite for Access campaign.
With the support of Rotherham Council, who secured £50,000 from the Government’s Changing Places Fund to help build a purpose-built space, the Millers are now able to offer a space including essential equipment, such as a hoist, height adjustable changing table, and height adjustable sink which will help people living with learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other conditions.
Making AESSEAL New York Stadium a comfortable and welcoming environment in which everyone can come and enjoy their football has always been of paramount importance to us and in conjunction with the Rotherham United Disabled Supporters' Association, we have been able to take on useful feedback from our own fans and as a result, deliver a whole host of new practices and suggestions.
The Changing Places facility is located on the concourse at the north end of the West Stand
Led by our very own Community Sports Trust, we recently introduced our new Disabled Supporters' Room on-site at AESSEAL New York Stadium which is managed by volunteers from RUDSA and following its successful opening, we identified another area in which we could improve and that was by introducing an adult changing facility for those that require an appropriate and dignified space in order to receive the privacy they deserve.
Alongside the funds provided through RMBC, support was offered in the form of a donation from RUDSA and backing from the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust.
Head of Community Jamie Noble expressed his delight at the introduction of the new facility which he feels further enhances AESSEAL New York Stadium's reputation as a place where everyone can enjoy their matchday experience.
"As a football club we pride ourselves on supporting the community, not only to live better and healthier lives, but to help make AESSEAL New York Stadium a safe and inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy their football."
"We would like to pass on our thanks to those who have donated to the room via RUDSA, including Rise Adaptions who have overseen the design and build whilst using local people to complete the installation.
"It's a privilege not only to open this facility, but also to know that it's been built by local people for local people."
Built by local people, for local people. A huge thanks to Rotherham company Rise Adaptions
Rotherham United Disabled Supporters Association Chair Kerry Coleman was equally excited to have been able to put supporter feedback into practice.
"As disabled fans we know sometimes going to games can have its challenges," she told www.themillers.co.uk
"Having received feedback from some supporters about the need for a Changing Places facility that provided additional support to people's personal needs, we have been working hard alongside Rotherham United and RUCST to implement this.
"RUDSA have been working hard to raise money towards the new facilities, we have had donations from local people, fundraising from a committee member, organised raffles and donations from a local charity plus much more.
"We are so pleased we are able to offer this facility to all those attending AEESEAL New York Stadium be it on a match day or any other event."
The changing places facility is located in the Eric Twigg Pukka Pies West Stand next to the first aid room. Any supporters who are in any other stand in the stadium and need to use the facility can speak to their nearest steward who will arrange for access to be given.
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Rotherham Council Cabinet lead for social inclusion, Cllr David Sheppard said:
“We’re really pleased to see this new facility open, it will make a life a whole lot easier for many people who currently find it difficult to enjoy events with friends and family.
“Changing Places toilets go beyond the provision of standard accessible toilets offering more space and essential equipment. They’re hygienic, safe and comfortable for disabled people and their carers. Larger than a standard disabled facility, they offer space to manoeuvre a wheelchair, with up to two carers present."
“The Council was awarded £360,000 as part of the first round of the Changing Places Fund, which is the largest amount of any authority within the country and we look forward to opening more of these facilities across Rotherham.”
Additional Changing Places facilities are planned at:
- Clifton Park Museum
- Gullivers Valley Theme Park and Resort
- Rother Valley Country Park
- Thrybergh Country Park
- Wentworth Woodhouse
- Magna Science Adventure Centre
- Grimm and Co.