Action group calls for change
A lack of understanding’, ‘a need to educate’, ‘avoid embarrassing situations’; these are just some of the reasons why a group of people living with a stoma have joined forces and are calling for changes to be made within society. Pelican, and our sister company Respond Healthcare, are helping the group get their message out.
Coming together from across South Wales, the action group has called for Wales to lead the way nationally and for Cardiff to become the capital of the UK for understanding the needs of people living with a stoma and more widely invisible illnesses. They also want Local Authorities across Wales to adjust waste collections in recognition of the issues people with a stoma face.
There is a lack of general understanding of the difficulties people living with a stoma face on a daily basis. With this in mind, the group are asking for changes to be made in daily society including, new signage to be used on all public toilets telling people that that not all chronic illnesses and health issues can be seen. The campaign is starting in Cardiff, and will hopefully spread across the UK.
I have experienced a great deal of misunderstanding and therefore negativity towards me because of my condition. I use the toilet facilities labelled disabled as I need the bigger space and privacy managing my condition requires, but quite often as I leave the toilet, I am verbally abused by people who think I have taken advantage of the facilities and don’t need to be using them
Amber Davies, Builth Wells
We hope the new signage will replace the current use of a figure in a wheelchair and reflect the broad range of reasons why someone would need to use the larger, accessible toilet facilities.
We are supporting the action group and aiming to work with the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council to start addressing the issues being faced by people living with a stoma.
We are calling for changes as this affects many people in Wales but also many visitors and tourists Wales receives each year. We want Cardiff as a capital city to lead the way and become an exemplar of understanding and progressiveness and I don’t feel we are asking for too much. People are experiencing issues every day that can be tackled and fixed in a very positive way and we will be working with charities and associations to form one unified voice in calling for change.
Mat Stratton, Pelican and Respond UK Managing Director
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