A CONVENIENCE facility servicing the elderly, disabled and their carers has just been launched.
Changing Places is a community facility that has "all the bells and whistles", according to Michael Ticehurst from the Regional Disability Transport hub team.
They have been working since 2016 with community advocates and service providers towards the facility in the Tamworth CBD, which will be a first for regional NSW.
Changing Places is in Bicentennial Park and is part of the new Regional Disability Transport hub, already funded with a Transport for NSW grant.
Mr Ticehurst, who attended the community launch of Changng Places on Thursday, said the facility was equipped with "lift equipment to assist family and personal carers with children and adults with a disability, the aged, or those suffering from permanent or temporary medical and health conditions.
"This much needed community asset will be infinitely accessible in the CBD alongside the Transport Hub parking area for all our loved ones including locals, people with ongoing medical appointments from regional towns and villages, and visitors to Tamworth from across Australia and overseas", Mr Ticehurst said. For many families and carers, the nationally accredited Changing Places facility will no longer mean having to change their loved ones on the public toilet floor.
Local disability advocate Fiona Hemmings, who has also been involved in this project, said: "It's all about love, dignity, respect, access and inclusion."
The Transport Hub group has auspiced through Tamworth City Council for a $200,000 "My Community" state government grant and needs to secure more than 10,000 votes to help get the final funding to finish building the Disability Transport Hub and Changing Places facility.
The My Community Project grants is a NSW government program that provides funding for community projects, which are decided using a public vote.
All projects are published online at service.nsw.gov.au, and voting opens from July 15 to August 15.
The group is encouraging everyone to put Tamworth Changing Places as their first preference to help keep our loved ones safe, and keep them off the public toilet floor.
"Every vote counts and finally gives our children, siblings, and parents with a disability or medical condition greater community access, respect and dignity," Fiona said.
"They too want to work, shop and play in the Tamworth community".