Mum appeals for adult changing places in Manchester after son’s tumour battle

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A MUM who lost her son to a brain tumour is appealing for large public areas to install changing places for older children and adults. 

Josh, nicknamed ‘Super Josh’

Dawn Fidler, 41, from Bury, lost her 14-year-old son Josh in 2014 following 10 years of battling his brain tumour and its complications.

Josh needed home modifications and specialist equipment after surgery to remove the tumour left him with severe and complex disabilities.

This inspired his mum to set up The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity in her son’s memory to help families in similar circumstances.

Miss Fidler said: “After Josh’s surgery, he went back into pads and as he grew it was absolutely impossible to put him on a baby change.

“We ended up having to change him on the floor of the toilets which is disgusting and there’s no dignity.”

After research into the topic, Miss Fidler discovered facilities called ‘Changing Places’ which have a height adjustable changing bed and a hoist to help lift wheelchair users.

Josh’s story caught the attention of footballer, Wayne Rooney.

She is now asking for help to spread awareness about the need for such facilities to businesses and venues in the Manchester region.

She said: “Even if you know there’s one a mile out of your way, you factor that into your day and it lets you actually enjoy a day out.”

The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour charity have celebrated the changes they have seen at The Trafford Centre, Manchester Arndale and Event City, all of which now have specialised changing places.

Miss Fidler said: “The overall goal is that it’s an unwritten rule, or even a legal requirement, that the architects put in a ‘Changing Place’ straight away rather than in hindsight.”

The charity is working hard to help children and their families with post-surgery disabilities, offering both financial and emotional support.

Miss Fidler said: “Time is precious and we appreciate every single hour that people donate to us.”

The charity’s details

If you wish to learn more about The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour charity and help to raise funds for this cause, visit their website.  

All images used with permission from Dawn Fidler. 

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