Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Supported by: Jelf Group


Children need to start school able to use the toilet independently. Our research shows more children than ever are starting reception class still wearing nappies or not toilet trained. This affects their self-esteem, confidence and dignity, and denies them many social & educational opportunities enjoyed by their classmates.

ERIC’s project will ensure more children across Somerset get the right start potty training and will enable 100 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. Families say it is difficult to get reliable and consistent information about how to toilet train their child and are not confident to know where to go for help when things go wrong.

Modern nappies & pull-ups are so good so children don’t know when they are wet and find it difficult to recognise when they need to use the toilet. 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 embarrassed and feel like they are the only family going through it.

ERIC’s family workshops will give parents and carers practical advice and tips to successfully toilet train their children and teaches them to recognise and understand the signs of common toileting problems when they appear.

Families will learn 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 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!

Families will receive a handy toilet-time activity bag as a learning aid they can use at home and at nursery, containing flash cards, reward charts and stickers for parents & carers and toys & games for children, making toilet time more fun and the bathroom a less scary place. After the workshops, families will get one-to-one follow up support & encouragement over the phone from one of our Helpline advisors.

ERIC wants to reach more families that are struggling with potty training. With a good grounding in the basics of toilet training, families have the best possible opportunity to establish a good toileting routine for their children, so that they can start school out of nappies and ready to learn.

ERIC has piloted these workshops and received a very positive response from the families that attended. A parent attending one of these said “I found this extremely valuable. I learnt so much. It’s been reassuring to talk to other parents to know there are others who have problems too”

With help from the Aviva Community Fund 100 families in Somerset will get this expert support so that they can confidently support their children with toilet training, ensuring that many more children can start school, out of nappies and ready to learn.

ERIC, The Children's Bowel and Bladder Charity

Moment of Pride

ERIC wants people to feel more comfortable talking about wee & poo problems. Nothing is ‘too much information’ for the ERIC team. Getting the right support with toileting problems can be transformational & reduce the stress on family life. This project really will make a difference to families.

Location: Somerset, UK