PEOPLE with a disability and their carers are now able to enjoy more events in Bathurst thanks to the arrival of the Marveloo, which is getting its first workout at the Bathurst 1000.
(min cost $8)
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The Marveloo is a portable Changing Places facility that caters to people with complex disabilities, offering a tracking ceiling hoist, height adjustable adult-sized change table, additional circulation space and an accessible toilet.
Seeing the need for this kind of facility in Bathurst, Vivability opted to fund the Marveloo to ensure equitable access to essential bathroom amenities.
Bathurst is now just the 10th city in Australia to have this facility.
The Marveloo was constructed off-site and delivered to Bathurst last week, being put in its temporary home behind the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama.
The Bathurst 1000 will be the first event that the facility has been used at.
Vivability chief executive officer, Nick Packham, couldn't be prouder to see it open to patrons this week.
"This is the first major event. We've already had inquiry on a number of other events as well, so we think it'll be used widely throughout the region and further afield as well," he said.
Event organisers can hire the Marveloo from Vivability, with it able to be transported relatively easily using a tilt truck.
The Marveloo concept was developed in Victoria around seven years ago by Don Di Giandomenico from Maroondah City Council.
His inspiration was his own daughter, who has cerebral palsy.
Alltek Welding's Paul Legg has been involved in the construction of the Marveloos and said the facility is designed to be able to be used by multiple patrons at once who are with a single carer.
"You've got the room here, there's privacy so the carer can attend to one person at a time, it has all the facilities that you would normally find in a Changing Places," he said.
Mr Legg said he was excited to bring this facility to Bathurst, knowing it will make a difference in the lives of people with a disability.
"We're tremendously excited about building this for Vivability and also to have it at Bathurst. I reckon it's a tremendous thing and it gives these people a chance to go out and enjoy the normal things in life," he said.
It's a sentiment Mr Packham shares.
"We're very aware that people with physical disabilities have real issues in terms of access and access for major events," he said.
"We've spoken to [Bathurst] council about a permanent facility, and council has assured us that will be happening, which is fantastic, but my board felt they were really interested in investing in the community so people could attend these events in and around the region."
Mayor of Bathurst Robert Taylor said council hopes to have funding for a permanent Changing Places facility available in the next year.
In the meantime, he is glad to see that the portable Marveloo is available.
"On behalf of the council, we'd like to congratulate Vivability for coming up with the concept to supply this facility, because for those with a major disability, they are able to come to an event now, when before they may have been a bit reluctant," he said.
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