Articles: News

Big Announcement!

Press release issued today – World Changing Places Awareness Day

19th July 2021
Friends of Sandall Park Campaign for Changing Places Loo

Friends of Sandall Park are teaming up with Doncaster disability adaptions firm RISE to raise money and install a new Changing Places toilet in the park.

Changing Places are specialist toilets designed to be used by people with complex disabilities, their families, and carers. Larger than a standard accessible loo, Changing Places feature an adult-sized changing bed and a ceiling hoist.

Over a quarter of a million people in the UK could benefit from an increased number of Changing Places toilets, enabling them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted.

The Changing Places Consortium and individual groups have campaigned for more of the toilets since 2006. Although the overall number of Changing Places toilets has increased there is still huge demand for more.

Need For Specialist Facility in Sandall Park

With only eight Changing Places toilets in Doncaster, Friends of Sandall Park are calling on local businesses to help them raise enough money to install a facility in the well-used and popular park.

Friends of Sandall Park is a charitable group of volunteers, set up to improve Doncaster’s largest park for everyone, including their most vulnerable visitors set to benefit from a Changing Places toilet situated in the park.

“We’ve received plenty of feedback over the past few years on the need for a Changing Places facility,” says Sandra Crabtree, Chair of Friends of Sandall Park. “We know there are many more people that would be able to come and enjoy the park if they had access to a suitable toilet – particularly visitors with more severe disabilities.”

To raise funds, the group have teamed up with RISE Adaptations – a specialist Changing Places contractor from Doncaster. Together, they aim to gather support and funding from local businesses, as well as increase the visibility of the Changing Places campaign.

The team from RISE and volunteers from the park are kicking off the campaign by walking the distance between each of the eight Changing Places toilets in Doncaster to highlight just how few facilities there are.

“The nearest facility is at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, which is too far for anybody wanting to enjoy a day at Sandall Park,” says RISE Director Louise Ogg. “If the park had its own Changing Places, families would be able to come and spend the entire day without worrying about the lack of safe, hygienic toilets.”

“With it being World Changing Places Awareness Day today [July 19th], now seemed like a great time to highlight the need for more facilities in our hometown,” adds Louise. “We’re going to install the new toilet at cost, but we’re now calling on other local businesses to chip in and help Sandra and the team with funding.”

RISE and Friends of Sandall Park hope to have raised enough to install the new toilet before the new year.

“We hope other businesses can help out too,” says Sandra. “A Changing Places toilet would make such a big difference to the local community, as well as attract more people to the beautiful surroundings at Sandall Park.”

For further information about campaign fundraising, contact


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World Changing Place Day

Monday 19th July is World Changing Place Day.

We haven’t forgotten about this campaign, we’re still chipping away in the background. It’s a vital commodity that the park desperately needs. 

The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of the over 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.

To use the toilet in safety and comfort, many people need to be able to access a Changing Places, which have more space and the right equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist.

We have no doubt that this facility would be an essential asset for the park and it’s visitors.


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Covid Testing in The Park

The Mobile Covid Testing Unit will be in the park this Monday between 1.30pm. and 4.30pm
The service is free for anyone to attend however though they do not test children under the age of 11.
They are happy to see anyone that would like a test or needs advice regarding testing and Covid in general.
People attending should be asymptomatic. Anyone that has Covid symptoms should be self-isolating and booking a PCR test through the web or calling 119.
It’s a simple process and doesn’t take very long ( often less than 15 mins) and results are emailed directly to the individual.
Importantly the team can give advice on the need to keep testing twice a week and can help those who are doing home tests to make sure they are performing the tests correctly.
The team are great and will help people as much as they can. Why not pop along and get tested?…/health…/covid19-testing
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Anti Dog Theft Campaign


We have joined a national campaign to prevent dog thefts and attempts.

DogHorn is a campaign organised by Nigel King to assist dog owners protect their beloved pets.  CLICK HERE to see about the work already being done.

We have signed up to the campaign and dog owners are now coming together to protect each other. We have purchased the yellow lanyards and whistles and dog walkers around the park can be seen wearing them.

Dog owners have been arranging to meet in groups to feel safer and this seems to be working. Help us with the campaign – buy a pack and join the pack!

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Thank You Everyone

The Caring Hands –  some thanks are needed.
We’d like to thank everyone who helped make this happen:
The 3 Ward Councillors who contributed half of the costs from their community funds allocated by the council;
Neil at the Neighbourhood Team who got the Planning Permission approved at first submission;
All the children (and parents) who took the time to decorate stones for the project;
Nic Senior of Little Spark (property developer) for bringing her cement mixer and doing a lot of the donkey work;
Dawn Collinson of Dawn’s Beauty Rooms

for the fabulous nail art;

Eagle Printing for the amazing plaques and rainbow;
Emma and Katie our lovely Junior Rangers for their planting of the Crocus, and Emma for her poignant poem;
Caitlin for her bows and ribbon cutting.
Most important of all, our amazing volunteers, with Col in particular. He transformed an idea into reality.
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Official Launch of Caring Hands Memorial

Today we had the official ‘launch’ of our Caring Hands Memorial.
A few words were said by the chairman Sandra, explaining the concept of the Caring Hands: The idea had started out as being painted stones set around the grass roundabout, but it soon developed into the entwined hands.
It represents the caring hands of the NHS staff, carers, shop staff; delivery drivers; council workers; volunteers and everyone else who reached out to touch hearts and minds during the pandemic. It will be a lasting reminder of everything we’ve been through – together.
She thanked everyone who had been involved in making it a reality, with special thanks to Col who had done incredible work on the whole project.
Our Head Ranger Emma read out a poignant poem she’d penned at the beginning of the pandemic (shown below) and Caitlin, who’d created all the beautiful bows for the fences, cut a symbolic ribbon.
We hope people will be able to enjoy this special symbol for years to come.
(Photos courtesy of FoSP’er Matthew)
Emma’s Poem:
Nobody knew what would happen,
Times changed, and fast,
A script that was unwritten,
This wasn’t in our past.
An invisible virus,
Spreading immeasurable fear,
Isolating us all,
From those we hold dear.
“Help us!” The country cried,
Nothing was enough,
An invisible killer,
Times were going to be tough.
Up stepped an army,
All dressed in blue,
This was the NHS,
Going to help you.
With their hearts on their sleeves,
No bulletproof vests,
An army marched to battle,
Against a virus in our chests.
Not enough equipment,
Numbers rising fast,
More people getting ill,
How long will this last?
A determined army,
Full of people who care,
Nothing could stop them,
These people are rare.
They are hard at work,
While we line the road,
We applaud them,
While they carry the load.
Many more will lose,
This horrific fight,
But we need to remember,
In the darkness there is light.
We are all so thankful,
For the care that is the best,
Together we will get through this,
Thank you NHS!
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