Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Bedwetting, daytime wetting, constipation and soiling can devastate a child’s life. More than 900,000 children and teenagers across the UK live with one of these distressing bowel or bladder conditions. Many of these problems are avoidable. Tackling these toileting issues early when children are potty training and learning to use the toilet is key to preventing continence conditions becoming long-term and blighting their childhood.

ERIC’s project will ensure more children get the right start potty training and will enable more families to get their child successfully through this stressful phase of early childhood.

Toileting difficulties are commonplace and experienced by many families, but because of the stigma and shame associated with wee and poo problems, too many children are not getting the help they need to overcome these treatable conditions. Families say it is difficult to get reliable and consistent information about how to toilet train their child, that they are not aware of the common problems that can happen and are not confident to know where to go for help when things go wrong. There are many myths around delayed toilet training – that children are lazy or naughty. When a child is struggling with using the toilet, families can often feel isolated, embarrassed and feel like they are the only family going through it.

ERIC’s training workshops give parents, carers and the staff and volunteers in the communities that support them practical advice and tips to successfully toilet train children and teaches them to recognise and understand the signs of bowel and bladder problems when they first appear.

Their fun workshops explain how bowels and bladders work and what to do to keep them working properly. How much should a child be drinking? How often should they go for a wee? What does a healthy poo look like? When is it the right to time to get help from a health visitor or GP? The education resources that accompany the training are led by friendly ‘Wee’ and ‘Poo’ characters who help explain how children’s bodies work and show how they can overcome tricky toileting challenges. Wee and Poo know all about the problems they can cause and explain to children in a fun way how to avoid the mischief they may make!

ERIC wants to reach more staff and volunteers that work in nurseries, children’s centres, community groups and family support organisations as well as families with pre-school aged children. With a good grounding in the basics of toilet training and understanding of common childhood continence problems, families have the best possible opportunity to establish good bowel and bladder health for their child, so that they can start school out of nappies and ready to learn.

ERIC has already delivered a small number of these workshops and received a very positive response from the people they trained. “I just feel so much more confident. I know what I'm talking about & feel like I can be really useful. So many good ideas!” “Really interesting… every new parent should be taught this!”

This project is so important in many ways. There is already a waiting list of groups asking to attend one of these workshops. With funding from the Aviva Community Fund they will be able to train at least 140 grown-ups so that they can confidently support children with toilet training and ensure that many more children avoid a lifetime of shame and fear that often goes hand in hand with an embarrassing continence condition.

ERIC, the Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity

Moment of Pride

What makes you proud of this project, organisation and/or those involved with it? (300 characters)
The team at ERIC is passionate about getting more people to talk about wee and poo and wants every child to live free from the fear of wetting and soiling accidents. The enthusiasm and positive respon

Location: Bristol