World Toilet Day 2020

World Toilet Day

 

World Toilet Day is 19th November.
Between 12th and 26th November this year, CCA will be driving the conversation on accessibility to toilets for people with inflammatory bowel disease, as well as engaging with the community on social media to find the best go-to toilet spots across Australia and share the best loos with a view!


Why is Crohn’s & Colitis Australia highlighting World Toilet Day?

No matter how much a person with Crohn’s or colitis plans ahead, there will be situations where they will depend on others for access to decent toilet facilities. Denying them access to a clean toilet can leave them feeling helpless, anxious, in pain and embarrassed, particularly if this leads to having an accident in a public place. It can be incredibly traumatising.

Imagine having to always know where the nearest clean toilet is whenever you leave home and having to plan your day with this in mind.

CCA wants to bring this issue to the forefront, to create better understanding of Crohn’s and colitis for the near 100,000 Australians living with these chronic illnesses.

Join the conversation

Follow the campaign on our social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

#CCAWorldToiletDay #CantWaitCard #GoToLoo #LooWithAView

Share the Crohn’s & Colitis World Toilet Day campaign during November and help us raise awareness on your social media pages. Be sure to use the #GoToLoo and #LooWithAView hashtags when you post.

Share your #GoToLoo with us!

We’d love to hear your recommended ‘go to’ toilet spots. Here’s a couple of suggestions from some members of the CCA community:

“Having lived with Crohn’s for 30 years, nearly my whole life, I always make sure I’m close to a bathroom. It’s really annoying at night time when I had to use the bathroom and lots of service stations stopped letting people in so 24 hours Maccas is my go-to now! It’s great, clean and I don’t have to second guess how the toilets are. Happy Toilet Hunting!”
– Justan Singh, CCA ambassador

“Arthur Clives Bakery, Aratula – on the Cunningham Highway, between Brisbane and Warwick, in Qld; always clean, always a park just where you need it, and a bakery treat if you’re feel well enough to enjoy one!”
– Julie Weldon, CCA Board member

And your favourite #LooWithAView

Here’s a couple of the most beautiful views we have come across on our searches… We’d love to hear your unforgettable experiences.


Treating people with kindness

Our wonderful ambassadors share their own experiences where a stranger has showed kindness in a time of urgency:

“I recall being in an office building and needing to use the public restrooms urgently. There were only 3 cubicles and one was out of order. I was desperate to go but there was a line in front of me. I was just about to beg one of the women to let me go in front when one turned to me and said ‘are you ok you don’t look at all well’ (I must have been very pale and a little sweaty by this stage) and I quietly explained I had an inflammatory bowel disease and sometimes I don’t get a lot of warning, I simply need to go when I need to go. I was quite emotional by this stage as I wasn’t sure if I would make it to the toilet on time. She simply pushed me to the front of the line telling the other ladies with conviction that there was no way I could wait. The other ladies simply stood back and let me through.”
– Flic Manning, CCA ambassador

“My story that springs to mind is when I was at the Entertainment Centre at Boondall for a Pink concert… I had probably waited longer than I should have and my bag was about to explode, so I rushed to the toilets… as you can imagine at Boondall the line was huge to get into the Ladies. I went to the Handicapped toilet beside it only to find 3 rather intoxicated young ladies with one of their group already in the toilet. They just looked at me and continued to wait in line, obviously they did not know my dilemma and to their credit I had not said anything, so I just quietly asked if I may go next as I have a colostomy bag, they looked at me as if this was the first time they had ever heard of one. But what has always stuck in my memory was that a lovely lady in a wheelchair came up behind me and they instantly gushed with apologies and said, ‘oh we are so sorry, you can obviously go next’. I smiled at the lady in the wheelchair and said, ‘that’s the problem with having an invisible illness, my colostomy bag is close to exploding but no one would know it…. Until it does’. The young lady in the wheelchair said, ‘I really feel for you as I get no strange looks or abuse using a handicapped toilet, and yet I am guessing you would come up against this often’. When the toilet was free, she spoke up and let me go first as she was not in a hurry. I heard her say to the young girls who were giving me dirty looks, ‘not all disabilities are visible girls, and it would be a good idea to remember that in future’. Her kindness, compassion and support really meant a lot.”
– Tracey Murrin, CCA ambassador


Can’t Wait Card

CCA provides to its members the ‘Can’t Wait Card’ which allows immediate access to a toilet to cardholders when shown to a business affiliated with the Can’t Wait program. CCA has an open invitation for businesses to show their support and empathy for people living with Crohn’s and colitis by signing up to this program.

“Being female and needing the bathroom in a hurry at sporting events is often a challenge, as there are rarely enough toilets for the number of female spectators. I generally try to avoid the fried / greasy foods at those kinds of events, but at one tennis tournament, I had something that clearly didn’t agree with me. The Can’t Wait Card was a godsend in getting me past the line-up, just in time!”
– Julie Weldon, CCA Board member

We encourage anyone diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis to become a member of CCA to access the many benefits of CCA membership. When you join as a CCA member you will be issued with a Can’t Wait Card to help you request urgent use of toilet facilities.

Find out more about becoming a member here.


Learn more about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis at the Crohn’s and Colitis Hub.


Media Release

MONDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Clean toilets matter to Aussies

Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA) is championing World Toilet Day on 19 November by reminding the community that accessibility to clean toilets is not just a third world problem.

Australia might be aflush with toilets, with 19,000 public facilities across the nation, but there are many people who have been denied the service when they need it most. Occasions such as these can be incredibly distressing for people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, who can experience the urgent need to go to the toilet anywhere and at any time.

By 2022 it is estimated that more than 100,000 Australians will be living with Crohn’s or colitis (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease), so it’s important that they have one less reason to feel anxious when they leave the house. The average person goes to the toilet between 4 and 10 times per day, but people with active inflammatory bowel disease have reported that they may need to go to the toilet urgently 20 times or more a day, making these illnesses incredibly challenging to live with.

World Toilet Day (WTD) typically highlights the poor sanitation facilities in third-world countries, which is certainly a major global problem. The issues in Australia, (although different), have been overlooked but they can’t be ignored. No matter how much a person with Crohn’s or colitis plans ahead, there will be situations where they will depend on others for access to decent toilet facilities, particularly when they are in urgent need. Denying them access to a clean toilet can leave them feeling helpless, anxious, in pain and embarrassed, particularly if this leads to having an accident in a public place. It can be incredibly traumatising.

Another barrier people with Crohn’s or colitis face is that the disease is an invisible illness that not many Australians are aware of or talk about.

“At the queue to a handicapped toilet I quietly asked if I may go next as I have a colostomy bag. They looked at me as if this was the first time they had ever heard of one. A lovely lady in a wheelchair came up behind me and they instantly gushed with apologies and said, ‘oh we are so sorry, you can obviously go next’. I smiled at the lady in the wheelchair and said, ‘that’s the problem with having an invisible illness, my colostomy bag is close to exploding but no one would know it until it does’.

“The young lady in the wheelchair said, ‘I really feel for you as I get no strange looks or abuse using a handicapped toilet, and yet I am guessing you would come up against this often’. She let me go first and I heard her say to the young girls who were giving me dirty looks, ‘not all disabilities are visible girls, and it would be a good idea to remember that in the future’. Her kindness, compassion and support really meant a lot.” Tracey Murrin, CCA Ambassador

In light of this issue, CCA provides to its members with the ‘Can’t Wait Card’ which allows immediate access to a toilet to cardholders when shown to a business affiliated with the program. CCA has an open invitation for businesses to show their support and empathy for people living with Crohn’s and colitis by signing up to this program.

People with Crohn’s or colitis often depend on public facilities when travelling but in many cases these toilets fail to meet basic standards. COVID –19 has brought this issue to the forefront and we are now starting to see some municipalities across Australia offering hand sanitizer in public bathroom facilities, which is a small step in the right direction for the entire community.

Between 12th and 26th November CCA will be driving the conversation on accessibility to toilets for people with inflammatory bowel disease, as well as engaging with the community to find out their ‘go to’ best toilet spots across Australia and sharing some #loowithaview photos and fun toilet trivia.

– ends –

For media enquiries, contact Stacey James on 0490 672 900. Spokespeople available on request.

About Crohn’s & Colitis Australia

At least 85,000 people in Australia have been diagnosed with IBD— Iife-long gastrointestinal disorders that commonly present in adolescence and early adulthood. These chronic conditions can cause ulceration and inflammation in the colon (ulcerative colitis) or any part of the digestive system (Crohn’s disease). Considering the established global problem, Australia has among the highest prevalence of IBD in the world.

The hallmark of these diseases is inflammation of the gut; the bowel becomes red, hot, swollen, tender and does not function normally. This dysfunction can cause a range of problems that include diarrhoea, pain, bleeding, profound fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, anaemia and bowel obstruction. The diseases can become so severe that hospitalisation is required, and many people affected by IBD require surgery. The acute symptoms may be extremely distressing and can affect an individual’s ability to work, study and establish relationships.

There is currently no cure for Crohn’s or colitis. This means 1 in 250 Australians are living with these chronic, unpredictable, life-long and potentially life-threatening conditions.

Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA) has been working with people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, health care professionals, governments and the public to minimise the impact that these conditions have on the community since 1985.

For 35 years, CCA has been the only Australian organisation working with and for patients and their families, the doctors that treat them, and the policymakers who can bring about change.

CCA provides high quality information, supports life-changing research and campaigns vigorously – for more knowledge, better services and more support for people affected by IBD.


 

CCA acknowledges and thanks our generous sponsors Abbvie and Gilead for supporting CCA’s World Toilet Day campaign 2020.