Grace’s sign takes pride of place at newly refurbished centre

The Royal College of Physicians are backing a 12-year-old Scottish girl’s campaign to make disabled toilets more inclusive at their newly refurbished conference centre.

Donald Wilson Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh requests the honour of your presence at a Garden Party at Lauriston Castle on Friday 29July 2016 at 3pm Held in honour of those who have made a positive contribution to Edinburgh, Scotland's great Capital City L-R Judith & Grace Warnock of "Grace'sSign" Neil Hanna Photography 07702 246823

The College are supporting “Grace’s Sign”, the brainchild of Grace Warnock, by installing a disabled toilet sign designed by the youngster.

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Grace, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of ten, launched the Grace’s Sign campaign to raise awareness of hidden disability after often facing criticism for using a disabled toilet.

Schoolgirl Grace Warnock's sign has been backed by the Royal College of Physicians

The campaign raises awareness that not all disabilities or health conditions are visible. It also challenges the stigma around people with hidden disabilities using disabled toilets.

Grace, from Prestonpans in East Lothian, said: “I am so happy that The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh are supporting my campaign by installing my sign in their refurbished conference centre. It is so important for those with invisible illnesses to be able to use the toilet facilities without fear of being judged. Thank you for raising awareness and for supporting my campaign.”

The refurbished Physicians International Conference Centre (PICC) in Edinburgh, was officially opened by the Princess Royal in February after year-long rebuilding work.

Grace’s Sign is located at the disabled toilet facilities in the lower foyer of the PICC.

The PICC hosts a range of public exhibitions and events, as well as educational and career development events for medical professionals.

By installing an inclusive sign, the PICC has joined the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh Airport and other public buildings across Scotland.

Prof Derek Bell, president of the college, said: “We recognise the stigma that people with hidden disabilities can face when using a public disabled toilet, which is why we are supporting the Grace’s Sign campaign.”

Meanwhile, the University of Edinburgh has been awarded £1.8 million to help aid scientists’ understanding of Crohn’s disease. The money will improve how experts monitor and determine outcomes for the inflammatory bowel disease that affects 120,000 people in the UK. The disease leads to painful inflammation and ulcers forming on the lining of the gut, with patients having to undergo multiple operations during their lifetime.

Funding comes from the Leona M and Harry B Helmsley Charitable Trust – a US-based charity committed to improving lives.