Local Riding School Unveils New Fully Accessible Changing Place For Riders

The team at S Jones Containers recently supplied a modified container to Summerfield Stables. The container will provide a fully accessible changing place for disabled riders visiting the horse riding school in Hall Green.

The accessible changing place was a bespoke conversion project and uniquely designed based on the first-hand experience of previous Summerfield stables rider, Evie, and her mother, Michelle. A changing place is a completely accessible facility which provides sufficient space and equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently.

The changing place has been built in memory of Evie, who had a life limiting rare regressive condition called Zellweger disease – she sadly passed away in February 2020.

Michelle began fundraising for ‘Evie’s Project’ in Spring 2020 in memory of her daughter. So far, she has raised just under £32,000 for the project from donations from friends, family, a local charity ‘We are All Making a Difference’, and a grant from the Veolia Trust.

The unit is one of the first stages in improving disabled accessibility at the stables. Given the nature of use of the unit, the accessible changing place had specific requirements.

The unit needed to be 24ft to fit the required facilities, which is not a standard container size. To create the bespoke size, the S Jones conversion team cut down a 40ft used shipping container to the exact size specification. It was then fitted with a wide personnel door for disabled access, specialist locks, and shuttered windows. Used containers are often not the most aesthetically pleasing as they have been used in transport for a number of years so to improve the finish of the unit, we repainted the container in green.

The changing place will create a safe space for disabled users to have access to toilets, shower and fully accessible changing facilities at the stables. Up until this point, the stables had no flush toilets and relied on the use of portaloos.

Michelle, Evie’s mother, said: “Evie was a very happy, determined young person with a great sense of humour. She loved visiting the stables every week and riding on Bobby – nothing was ever too much trouble for the stables and they enabled Evie until the very end.

“I am very grateful to everyone who helped me make my vision become a reality. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the team – it was a pleasure to work with so many wonderful people.”

Georgina Urwin, Director at Summerfield Stables, said: “We are really pleased with the fully accessible changing place. It marks the beginning of our wider project to make the stables accessible to all and be able to welcome more disabled visitors. We aim to fundraise to develop this further – please contact Michelle, Evie’s mum, on michelle@newpharma.co.uk if you would like to support the fundraising.

“We pride ourselves on offering riding sessions and pony care to increase the confidence and practical skills of young people, and Evie was no exception. She will truly be missed around the yard but her spirit lives on and the ‘Evie Project’ will no doubt benefit many more young people and families over the years!”

Halina Witek, Sales Team Leader at S Jones Containers, added: “This was a great project that we are proud to have been involved in. Modifying a shipping container is an easy way for organisations to improve disabled accessibility. Making changes to an existing bricks and mortar building can be costly, whereas a container unit is versatile and modular.

“It was a pleasure to help Michelle’s vision come to life on this project, and we hope that the converted container will help disabled riders and their families enjoy their time at the stables in the future.”

If you would like more information on container conversion, hire or sale, please contact our experienced sales team on 01922 741752 or email sales@sjonescontainers.co.uk

For more information about Evie’s Project or to support the fundraising at Summerfield Stables, please contact Michelle Thompson on michelle@newpharma.co.uk

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