Disabled access unveiled at Burnley leisure centre

Zack and supporters
Zack and supporters
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New disabled access facilities have been unveiled at a Burnley leisure centre in support of a young man’s national campaign to improve access in public places.

The leisure trust and the council have shown their support to 22-year-old Zack Kerr’s campaign by installing a fully accessible Changing Place toilet and changing facility at St Peter’s Leisure Centre.

Work on the facilities has been completed and Zack was at the leisure centre to officially open them to the public.

The move came about after an approach to Burnley Council by Hyndburn MP Graham Jones on behalf of his constituent Zack, who lives in Accrington.

Zack has appeared on regional TV and in national media after launching his campaign to see Changing Place standard toilets at every UK motorway service station. He launched an online petition which gathered more than 100,000 supporters within a matter of months. Zack delivered his petition to Downing Street in person.

Recently Zack was interviewed by representatives from the Prince’s Trust who are keen to include him in their young people’s programme at their centre in Burnley. They discovered there are no Changing Place facilities in Burnley, and very few in East Lancashire as a whole.

Zack said: “I am really pleased that Burnley Council and Burnley Leisure have responded so quickly to install this excellent facility, which will help me and so many other people access the leisure facilities here and in the town centre. It will really make a difference to so many disabled people and their families, friends and carers.”

Scott Bryce, Burnley Leisure’s Area Manager said “Burnley Leisure endeavour to ensure that our facilities are accessible to all of our local community and we were delighted to secure the funding to install the Changing Places facility to St Peter’s Leisure Centre and be part of Zack’s campaign in improving access to facilities. The room is within our village changing area with close proximity to our swimming pools.”

Coun. Lian Pate, the council’s Executive member for community services, said: “Burnley Council was delighted to support Zack’s campaign to improve facilities for disabled people. Everyone has the right to be able to access amenities such as their local leisure centre.

“We wish Zack all the best as he pursues his very worthwhile campaign.”

Burnley MP and Shadow Health Minister for Communities Julie Cooper said: “Zack has been an outstanding champion for this cause and has achieved so much through sheer determination.

"Both he and the teams from Burnley Leisure and Burnley Council have worked together to make a huge difference to all of those needing greater accessibility to the excellent facilities at St Peter’s.”

You can follow Zack and support his campaign on Twitter: @zackyboy14 or read more about Changing Places at http://www.changing-places.org