It is said that toilets are often the most important room in a building because it determines whether people feel comfortable, welcome and belong with dignity.

The toilets in Belle Vue Baptist Church need a 21st century update and we see this as an opportunity to make sure that everyone regardless or ability or need can be a part of whatever is going on in our buildings.

This means we do not just want to replace our disabled toilet, instead we want to go further and create an accessible toilet with a hoist and changing table, large enough to accommodate a wheelchair and carer, that would ensure those with multiple needs can also be welcomed and offered the same standard of dignity that is offered to anyone else.

Our church is widely used in the Southchurch Community in addition to Sunday services. We run a large Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association Company, we welcome families to our parent and toddler group, we host a monthly afternoon tea and social activities, as well as hosting craft and art groups, Slimming World and other occasional groups. In addition we are one of the centres for Southend Foodbank where people can receive food and support.

To provide quality, long-lasting toilets for the wide range of groups is a high priority to us as part of our vision is to see our buildings be a space where people can meet to make friends, have fun, and explore faith.

The church has raised half the money needed for this project, estimated to cost around £60,000. In order to implement these changes this year, we are asking our local community to support our vision. For those who already use our buildings or those who feel it’s important that there is an inclusive community space in Southchurch, please be a part of making that difference we believe is at the heart of what we want to stand for.

We are running a Crowdfunder campaign and you can donate here.