Nowhere to Go

Nowhere to Go is a collaborative project funded by Newcastle University’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account researching the lack of accessible toilets in Northumberland.

This project explores the difficulties disabled people face accessing appropriate toilet facilities and the negative public attitudes which contribute to these difficulties. The project is running from May 2017 until March 2019

Carers Northumberland

The research builds on a series of community based projects undertaken by Newcastle University politics students working alongside Carers Northumberland. This work highlighted the diversity of issues facing disabled people and their carers, multiple exclusionary effects and a range of responses to potential solutions.

This follow up project has consulted a larger group of stakeholders and developed new partnerships with them, implementing a co-production model working directly with partner organisations and disabled people and carers. The consultation work has led us to identify particular resources that could be useful to making the case for greater availability of accessible toilets in Northumberland. The ideas for those resources have been discussed also with Northumberland County Council who recognise the need for improvements in the availability of accessible toilets in the region.

In December 2018 we are launching our first set of resources:

1. A best practice guide to ‘Improving Access to Toilets in Northumberland’. The guide seeks to highlight to people, but particularly organisations such as galleries, cafes, pubs, supermarkets, ways they can easily and cheaply make their toilets more accessible and to make them available without having to purchase anything. We also discuss the importance of Changing Places toilets for the high level of accessibility they provide.

Different Versions of the Guide can be found here:‌

2. We also have a 2 page version of the guide - 'Top Tips To Making Toilets More Accessible', which captures key things that any organisation can do to ensure their toilets are suitable for a range of users.

Different versions can be found here:

3. Working with disabled people and carers, Carers Northumberland and local community film company Little Big Butterfly we have made a film that documents some of the experiences of disabled people and their ideas for what would make a difference.

The Film can be downloaded from here:

Nowhere to go. Northumberland from Clara Shield on Vimeo.

We are keen that these resources are used and shared. We are also keen to receive feedback on them and discuss the issues with any groups who would like to know more. Please be in touch:

Stages to the Project

The production of the resources is a product of the following stages of engagement and discussion with key actors and organisations

  • Interviews with lead officers from key organisations – May to July 2017

  • Half day workshop to discuss an interim report - September 8th, 2017

  • Engagement with disabled people and carers  October 2017 – Jan 2018

  • Second half day workshop and final report - March 2018

  • Funding applications to develop resources – March-April 2018

  • Funding bid successful - May 2018

  • Film work undertaken - July - November 2018

  • Best practice guide produced - April - November 2018

  • Film and Best Practice Guide launched - 10th December 2018