A TOWN'S businesses have been praised for taking steps to become dementia-friendly.

Dementia Friendly Bridport, a voluntary group set up to raise awareness and understanding of dementia and its impact, has been working with local businesses, churches and schools to promote a greater understanding and awareness of dementia and how it affects people.

Bridport businesses, it says, have risen to the challenge by making their loos available to anyone in real need. This follows its survey of people living with dementia.

Dementia Friendly Bridport, a group formed beneath the umbrella of the Alzheimer's Society, carried out a survey of people living with dementia which, amongst other things, asked about Bridport and the ease of access. The group found that one of the reasons local people with dementia weren’t going out as much as they would like was the lack of available toilets..

With few public toilets in Bridport, Dementia Friendly Bridport decided to follow other towns in the UK and launch a 'Use Our Loo' scheme. This asks businesses to display a sticker in their windows, welcoming all who really need it to use their loos, without challenge.

Debra Bates, chairman of Dementia Friendly Bridport, said: “Our group is thrilled by the response and, so far, 16 businesses have signed up to the scheme in Bridport and West Bay. Nearly all of them are able to display the sticker. This is a real benefit to the whole community. However, it shouldn’t be seen as a replacement to our public toilets. Indeed, we think Bridport needs more of those, too.

"We will be checking back with the participating businesses to see what impact, if any, the scheme has had, but the feedback from other towns has been really positive. I would like to thank all those businesses who have signed up to 'Use our Loo.' Their public-minded spirit is what makes Bridport such a special town and is an example of why Bridport deserves the title a ‘Rights Respecting' town."

For more information, including venues with accessible loos, visit the group's website and Facebook page as well as around the town.

Participating venues


  • Costa
  • Rise
  • Weatherspoons
  • Windy Corner
  • Coffee #1
  • Cornish Bakery
  • Soulshine cafe
  • Bearkat cafe
  • Cafe Aroma
  • Lord Nelson pub
  • Beach and Barnicott
  • Ropemakers
  • Woodman Inn
  • White Lion pub
  • Bridport Museum (for trial period)