Sheffield mum shares video of distraught daughter, two, in tears after being told she couldn't use toilets at FOUR shops and cafes
This is the heartbreaking moment a two-year-old girl bursts into tears and begs to use the toilet after her mum was allegedly turned away by four shops and cafes in Sheffield city centre.
Lucinda Taylor-Milne shared the distressing footage of her desperate daughter Lola sobbing and pleading ‘I want to go do wee wee’ in an attempt to highlight the need for public toilets.
She says staff at Boots, Caffè Nero, Marks & Spencer and Starbucks on Fargate and High Street all refused to let the toddler use their customer toilets, despite seeing how upset Lola was, because they said the loos were closed due to Covid.
"It’s awful as a parent to have your daughter crying and telling you she doesn’t want to wet her pants, and I was absolutely disgusted that all these places refused to let Lola use their toilets,” she said.
"Some people have criticised me for sharing the footage but if I hadn’t taken that 12-second video I don’t even think my complaint would have been picked up and made these companies think about their policies.”
Lola was eventually able to relieve herself in the customer loos at McDonald’s, where a member of staff informed Ms Taylor-Milne that they always make an exception for children and people with disabilities.
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The 33-year-old stay-at-home mum told how they had been travelling by bus from their home in Southey Green to Sheffield Children’s Hospital and had to change in the city centre last Tuesday.
They were waiting for a sausage roll at Greggs when Lola announced that she desperately needed the loo, and because there are no customer toilets there Ms Taylor-Milne tried elsewhere.
But she claims that everywhere she asked, before trying McDonald’s, staff had turned them away.
“Being able to use a toilet is a basic human right. I understand customer toilets may be closed due to Covid but people need to show some common sense in situations like this where someone’s clearly in distress,” said Ms Taylor-Milne.
"It’s not just parents with young children who might be affected, but shoppers with disabilities too.
"It’s not only during the pandemic that this is an issue, either. I’ve lived in France and travelled through Europe, where the public toilets are amazing, but here in the UK they’re becoming fewer and fewer.”
The Star has contacted all the companies concerned.
An M&S spokesman said: “We are sorry for the upset this cased Lucinda and her daughter. We have had to temporarily close the toilets at our Fargate store due to the current lockdown restrictions, but we have made sure that all colleagues are aware that they can open the toilets for a customer in situations like this.”
A spokeswoman for Boots said: “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to Lucinda and her daughter. We recognise that there are occasions when it is appropriate to allow customers to use the colleague toilet facilities in our stores and we will remind the team in Sheffield of this policy.”
A spokeswoman for Sheffield Council said that temporary public toilets which opened beside the Peace Gardens last year had been removed in December due to low usage.
She said the Moor Market, which has remained open throughout the pandemic, allows people to use its toilets without having to buy anything.