Thursday, 13 October 2016


There are many excellent charities operating in the UK and across the world.  Everyone has their favourite, often based on personal experience or circumstances.  There are many charities I admire, particularly those working to improve the lives of children, such as the NSPCC and Barnardos.  But without doubt my favourite charity is ERIC – The Children’s Bowel & Bladder Charity, a small UK based charity which does brilliant work in an unglamorous area.

ERIC provides a lifeline for parents
 being driven potty by their child's
wetting or soiling problems (c)
Set up by The Children’s Society in 1988, ERIC, which now stands for Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence, originally specialised in helping families to deal with bedwetting in children and teenagers, but has since expanded to cover other toilet problems in young people such as daytime wetting, constipation and soiling. 

From its offices in Bristol in the west of England, ERIC’s helpline, website and publications are a lifeline for parents and children dealing with continence issues.  Wetting and soiling issues in children and teenagers are a distressing problem for the young person concerned as well as for their parents, who often feel unable to discuss their child’s condition with their families and friends, and sometimes also have difficulty dealing with the medical profession.  ERIC’s helpline, in particular, is a great help to parents both in providing a listening, non-judgemental ear and offering expert advice.  Their staff and volunteers are happy to talk about wee and poo all day and have helped countless desperate families over the years.

But it is not only because of the excellent work that they do that I love ERIC so much.  They are also great in looking after their supporters.  They do not bombard you with requests for donations, but treat you with the human touch.  I have had several personal emails, and even handwritten letters, from various members of staff.  They keep you updated on the work they are doing and really make you feel valued.

The only sad thing is that ERIC was not around when I was a child.  I’m sure with their help I would have been able to overcome my soiling problem quicker, and they would also have been a great source of comfort and help to my mother.  Although she often got cross with me when I had accidents, my mother is a wonderful person, always helping others and devoted to her family.  My soiling undoubtedly caused her anguish and, like me, she probably thought that no other school aged child still had accidents in his pants like I did.  There was no internet to turn to for information and, like so many parents, she felt unable to discuss my poo problems with others.  Being able to speak to an organisation like ERIC would, I’m sure, have brought a great sense of relief to her.
Advice on toilet training is another
of ERIC's specialities (c)

ERIC can also help with potty training, and their online shop sells bedwetting alarms, travel potties, vibrating watches and even pee and poo soft toys and keyrings.  They also sell a wide range of protective pants and swimwear suitable for containing poo accidents.  And finally, they have a wide range of books covering all aspects of children’s toileting, including my own books for older children who soil, A Boy Like You and A Girl LikeYou, which will be the subject of a future post.

For more information please go to ERIC’s website,, or click on the box on this website.

ERIC, 36 Old School House, Britannia Road, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 8DB, United Kingdom.  ERIC is a Registered Charity (no 1002424) and a Company Limited by Guarantee (no 2580579) registered in England and Wales.

No comments:

Post a Comment