A mum has criticised the retailer White Stuff after staff refused to let her daughter, who suffers from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, use their toilets.
Emma Bryant took to Facebook to share her daughter’s ordeal, explaining that she has Ulcerative Colitis, a form of IBD, and carries a registered ‘Can’t Wait’ card.
‘Absolutely disgusted with your Southampton store in West Quay after they refused to let my 13 year old daughter, who suffers with Ulcerative Colitis, to use their toilets even after she bravely explained she had the disease, showed them her Can’t Wait Card (copy as attached) & asked to use their staff toilets urgently,’ Emma wrote in a post on the store’s page.
‘They refused as they said they had stock out the back & suggested she used the nearest public toilets. She therefore had no choice but to dash to the nearest facilities in John Lewis, but sadly & very embarrassingly she had an accident as she couldn’t hold on.’
Absolutely disgusted with your Southampton store in West Quay after they refused to let my 13 year old daughter, who suffers with Ulcerative Colitis, to use their toilets even after she bravely…
‘She was beyond mortified, as anyone would be, especially as she was only just building up her confidence with going out to public places as she is still struggling with a flare up so this huge knock back is the last thing she needed & her confidence has been destroyed.’
‘White Stuff in Southampton are the first store to refuse her to use their staff facilities when she has asked, showed her card & explained her illness. All other shops to date have been extremely sympathetic & understanding to her situation & constant struggle of living with this horrendous disease, & shown her to their staff facilities without hesitation, so I am disgusted with your shop.’
Her initial post has gained over 8,000 shares, and many sympathetic comments about her daughter’s experience.
However, four days after the incident Emma amended her post to include the response she received from the company, who appear to have gone to great lengths to apologise to the family.
‘As much as I was & still am very upset & angry at White Stuff for what they made my daughter suffer on Sunday, to their absolute credit they have been in contact with me twice & can’t apologise enough for the treatment of my daughter on Sunday,’ she said. ‘They are also making a donation to Crohns & Colitis UK which is a very kind & positive gesture.’
‘In addition they thanked me for bringing this incident to their attention are now including awareness of invisible disabilities & this type of exception to the rules of access to the backroom in their staff training.’
Many have thanked Emma for sharing her experience and commended White Stuff for their sensitivity in handling the issue.
‘This is what is needed better knowledge and understanding of IBD,’ wrote one mum. ‘I’ve got to be honest I didn’t know anything about IBD until my young daughter was diagnosed in December and even now we are still learning.’
‘Glad that they seem to have learnt from their mistake,’ agreed another. ‘Hoping they have made all their stores aware.’