Crohn's and Colitis UK's campaign to place additional signs on accessible toilets in the UK’s major supermarkets, raising awareness that not every disability is visible, has had a fantastic response so far with more than 16,000 emails being sent to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose.
I sometimes use the accessible toilets in supermarkets and feel guilty doing it. I shouldn't have to feel the guilt when I have an invisible illness. These signs will change things drastically for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and will also change the general public's perceptions.
Thanks to your support, we've had real positive and meaningful engagement with all of the supermarkets. This would not have been possible without you.
Whilst it is still early days, we are confident that the supermarkets will sign up to our campaign.
Marks and Spencer have even been in touch, on the back of the strength of the campaign, saying that they are looking to place our sign in all new and refurbished stores – so this is excellent news.
We hear far too many instances where people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), or other 'invisible' illnesses, are verbally challenged when using an accessible toilet, all because they may 'look okay' on the outside but are actually suffering from very acute symptoms. We need to raise awareness that not all disabilities are visible to stop this happening, which is why this campaign is so important.
We have made big strides but we are not there yet and we are determined to see this through to ensure that the UK’s major supermarkets get involved.
There is still time to join the campaign and send our email to the bosses of the UK’s largest supermarkets asking for their help to end the stigma and distress people in the UK living with IBD and other invisible illnesses face.