Bramble Cottage CIC (Community Interest Company) is a start up enterprise situated in the Blackburn area of West Lothian.
Why Bramble Cottage?
Bramble Cottage has been in the making for two years now and we are very proud of how far it has come. We started attending fayres and selling our own bread and pastry products which proved very popular although we were frequently asked if we had gluten free produce. We wanted to help but had never produced any free from baking before. We began researching and found that there was a gap in the market. Our original idea was to open a cafe providing an extensive choice of free from produce but we continued to research and realised that with our combined experience in working with people, mainly children, we could do more than just the cafe. Our research told us that there were no constructive play centres in West Lothian nor the surrounding areas offering accessible facilities for children with assisted needs. Bramble Cottage Constructive Play Centre and Eatery was born!
What is Bramble Cottage?
Bramble Cottage will be based in an industrial unit which will be decorated to look like a forest with a park. The floor will be completely level providing access for all including those who use a wheelchair. There will be a reception/gift shop selling nature products, Bramble Cottage's and locally produced foods. When you walk through the shop you will see an indoor play park and an adventure area, featuring play houses based on local wildlife, a baby area, small Snoezelen (sensory relaxation room) and the dining area. There will be a fantastic array of toys suitable for children of all abilities to play with and Bramble Cottage will hold birthday parties, paying particular attention to accessibility and suitability for those with assisted needs. As a Community Interest Company we aim to provide a safe, fun, educational and stimulating environment in which children of all abilities can come together through play. In an ever increasing electronic age full of gadgets, mobile phones and tablets, we see an opportunity for children to come and learn social, life skills and communication through imaginary play.
What is a 'Changing Places' bathroom?
The industrial unit we have found has two standard sized toilets but nothing for people with assisted needs. That's where a 'Changing Places' bathroom will come in. A 'Changing Places' bathroom is a room which has much needed equipment in it to help those who can't get themselves onto the toilet or who are unable to sit up without support. You would expect to see a height adjustable changing bed, an overhead hoist, height adjustable sink, height adjustable toilet, a screen for privacy, paper roll for placing on the bed and a large bin for pads. You can find more information on their website https://www.changing-places.org/
We have had many unfortunate experiences of having to change people on a toilet floor. Can you imagine how undignified that would be? We have always found it extremely embarrassing, and I (Joanne) was unable to find a suitable place and found humour would be a good way to distract someone from an undignified situation. Not having a suitable changing place limits everyone, but especially people with a disability to do eveyday things that you or I are able to do without thinking, like shopping, leisure activities, travel and socialising. People with a disability have the right to do these things with the same dignity as everyone else. We will also provide suitable baby changing facilities and private nursing area for mothers to breastfeed should they wish.
There a only around 1000 'Changing Places' toilets in the UK and although they are on the increase there are still not enough. There are a few in Edinburgh and Glasgow but none in West Lothian.
Let's change this!
Thank you for your consideration.