Help for Health logo


Improving the health and well-being
of people living in East Yorkshire
and Northern Lincolnshire


Preston Road Neighbourhood Development Company - £3800 awarded by the Trustees for a wall mounted motorised changing table at the Freedom Centre on Preston Road, Hull, serving one of the worst areas of deprivation in the UK. The building is open to all and provides a wide range of services designed to improve the health and well being of those in the local area and beyond. These include theatre productions, pantomimes, library services, a cafe, spaces for local clubs and much more. Since opening in 2005 there has been a major impact on the area creating opportunities, positive social experiences improved quality of life. The health impact of this is hugely significant. The motorised adult changing table was no longer in working order beyond repair. £3800 enable the changing table to be replaced and to improve the ability to serve those with physical disabilities. For the Freedom Centre health and well being are key priorities. It is important that all sections of society, particularly those who have profound challenges, are given the opportunity to have experiences that many take for granted. Replacing the old equipment enables more service users with physical disabilities to enjoy the services provided, improving their quality of life and in turn have a major positive impact on their overall health.

Report – Freedom Centre Hull - Replacement of Adult Changing Bed

The Freedom Centre in Hull is proud of its history as an inclusive community facility delivering exceptional services to all members of the community. However, in recent years our service offer to adults with physical challenges has been hampered. When the Centre opened in 2005 a great deal of attention was paid to ensuring that disabled visitors had equal access to services, with the provision of lifts and multiple disabled toilet facilities including a large downstairs facility equipped with an adult changing bed.

However in recent years the changing bed developed intermittent faults and latterly broke down all together. It was assessed by a number of companies who concluded that it could no longer be repaired.

Picture 1: the old changing bed was out or order for a prolonged period.

The function of the changing bed is to allow people of all ages and sizes who require assistance with washing and dressing to be attended to by their carers at a suitable height, in safety and comfort. When the bed was not operational carers had to change their clients on the toilet floor which was both undignified and unsafe for the carers. The process of bending, lifting, working at floor level and manually handling clients with sometimes profound physical difficulties sometimes with behavioural issues placed carers at risk of injury.

The Freedom Centre is owned by a community charity: Preston Road Neighbourhood Development Company, led by local residents, with the aim of improving the quality of life of people in the East Hull area and beyond. The Freedom Centre team applied to Help for Health for a grant to replace the broken changing bed and was delighted to receive an award.

Picture 2: Our new changing bed

Picture 3: Supported by Help for Health

The new bed was installed in August 2018 and is an excellent replacement for the previous unit. Like its predecessor it is motorised to ensure that service users can access the bed then be safely moved to the correct height to receive care. It is comfortable for service users, easy to keep clean and is rated to take clients up to 30 stones in weight.

Pictures 4&5: motorised height adjustment with safety rail

On the first day of its operation the centre was visited by a client from Danny’s Dream, an organisation recently assessed as being ‘outstanding’ by the CQC. The accompanying carers told us that they visit 2-3 times a week to use the Freedom Centre café and then go on to use other facilities in the local area. They were delighted with the new facilities and described how they had transformed the experience for both them and their client. They immediately pointed out the improvements in safety for both carers and their clients but were especially appreciative that their clients can now use the toilet with dignity. They will be telling other carers and service users that the Freedom Centre facilities are back to full working order.

Pictures 6&7: clean and comfortable changing surface; supported by Help for Health

An unanticipated impact that the carers told us of was how this facility would support the wider area. With facilities of this nature few and far between it would help those with disabilities take better advantage of services delivered in the area – such as the trampoline club. They were certain that the benefit of the support given to us by Help for Health would help improve the lives of many people both living in the area and those visiting the area. We were pleased to learn that our work with Help for Health will have a much broader impact than we originally anticipated.

We look forward to greeting more of our existing visitors and service users, welcome back services users who used our facilities in the past and meet new people from the local area and beyond.

The benefits that visitors to our centre will enjoy through improvements to their quality of life, enhanced dignity and the improved safety in which they receive care will be enjoyed for many years to come. The Freedom Centre Team, Directors and Trustees are grateful to Help for Health for their generosity, care and support.

Julian Rice

Chief Executive

Preston Road Neighbourhood Development Company

The Freedom Centre