Sun, 14 Oct 2018
VILLAGERS have celebrated the first anniversary of the re-opening of Pangbourne’s public toilets.
The milestone date was used to share the news that enough funding has been secured to keep the facilities open for at least another 12 months.
The Action for Pangbourne Toilets (APT) group was formed in 2016 in a bid to save the Station Road lavatories after West Berkshire Council pulled the plug on funding them.
The loos were re-opened in September 2017 by Action for Pangbourne Toilets Community Trust – a charitable organisation formed out of the original group.
This followed a fundraising effort by villagers with support from local parish councils, Greenham Trust and other grant giving bodies.
The charity celebrated its first successful year by hosting a tea party to thank donors, volunteers, businesses and partners for their support.
West Berkshire Council leased the toilets to the residents after announcing it could no longer afford to fund them.
APT’s chair of trustees, Sir Brian Hoskins, said: ‘We decided to throw a party to thank everyone who helped to re-open the toilets and to celebrate what has been a very successful first year.
“Thanks to our donors and supporters we already have the funds to keep the toilets open until at least September 2019.
“Our fundraising efforts must continue to secure the toilets for the village in the longer term, but we have been greatly encouraged by the strength of support from residents in Pangbourne and in the wider community.”
Guests were joined by Libby Herbert from the national charity Colostomy UK, which supports people who have had life-changing stoma surgery, their families, friends and carers.
Colostomy UK provided APT with support and advice to upgrade the RADAR key accessible toilet to achieve ‘stoma friendly’ status.
Mrs Herbert said: “I am delighted to see that the hard work and passion of those involved in Action for Pangbourne Toilets has kept the public toilets of Pangbourne open a year on.
“To also make their accessible toilets inclusive to those living with a hidden condition, by making them stoma-friendly, is incredible. Thank you for this achievement.”
The celebration was also supported by the Pangbourne branch of Co-operative Food, which donated freshly-baked scones for the event, and with live music performed by local harpist Rhiannon Evans.