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Exchange Ilford opens new family space and changing rooms

PUBLISHED: 10:43 05 October 2018

The baby changing area inside Exchange Ilford's new family room on Level One. Photo: Richard Wyatt

The baby changing area inside Exchange Ilford's new family room on Level One. Photo: Richard Wyatt

Richard Wyatt

Exchange Ilford’s new family space and changing rooms designed to make the centre more welcoming and accessible have now opened after months of refurbishment.

You might have spotted shiny new parent and baby facilities on level three, but it’s on level one where the centre’s team have been busy creating a new space for families and those with mobility needs.

The family room and Changing Places toilet will give them the privacy and support needed to make shopping a less stressful experience.

Built to standards set by campaigners from Changing Places, it has a hoist, height-adjustable toilet and sink, plus an adult-sized changing table and room for two carers.

The newly-finished facility features feeding rooms, a buggy park, and even a cubicle specially designed to help parents or carers toilet train their toddler.

Exchange Ilford’s general manager Sarah De Courcy Rolls has been involved in the revamp from the beginning.

She said: “We’ve got a very diverse borough, and what we’ve tried to do is make sure we understand what’s important to the people of Ilford.

“If you want to be able to just pop in for a bit of escape time, or have a day out with the family, that’s what we’re here for.

“The new layout means you park, come in, and family-focussed shops are right there.

“Children’s retailer Kidz Zone will be moving downstairs, and the centre is in talks to bring new shops that children and parents will love to the dedicated area.”

Level one is also home to a soft play area, Kids Freeplay, which opened last year.

Leader of the Council Cllr Jas Athwal toured the new family room and disabled toilets ahead of their public opening.

“Having a facility like this increases accessibility for all our residents. As a council, we need to look wider than just Ilford, and make sure wherever we regenerate we need to incorporate facilities like this for all residents so they can feel safe and confident when they come to Redbridge,” said Cllr Athwal.

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