Juliette Rayner, ERIC’s CEO said “More than 8,000* children and young people across Bristol struggle with a bowel or bladder condition. Due to the stigma and associated shame it is very likely that these figures are under-reported, hiding the full extent of children affected. In fact, we know from research that only 1 in 3 families seek help, so we are very excited to now be in a position to raise awareness and host drop-in events around the city for families whose children are affected by bedwetting, daytime bladder problems, chronic constipation and soiling and delayed toileting skills”.
ERIC’s staff and volunteers will create a friendly & supportive environment where, parents and carers can:
- find a listening ear and understanding from others;
- exchange practical information and skills for managing day to day challenges;
- get signposting information about local services and how to access them
- gain knowledge and confidence to advocate on behalf of their child in nursery, school and with health professionals.
For parents and carers, the daily challenges of supporting a child with a continence condition can create stress, feelings of isolation and even anger. Many struggle to find the right support from health services, nurseries and schools and are left feeling in despair. In the worst cases, parents stop working to home-school their children. One mother told us:
“The impact on family life went beyond the mammoth task of laundry and the practicalities of dealing with accidents, past the daily battle of medication and toilet-time. It left me exhausted and frustrated and it became the only thing we talked about. One day I sat in the middle of my kitchen floor surrounded by laundry from bowel and bladder incontinence and cried”
ERIC will announce shortly further details on how to get involved on their website www.eric.org.uk and through social media on their Facebook page ERIC.UK1 and Twitter @ERIC_UK
ERIC is grateful to the generous support of the National Lottery Community Fund, without whom this new project would not be possible.
* NICE Paediatric Commissioning Guide, 2010, which estimates 1 in 10 children aged 5-18 in the UK are affected and using ONS census mid-year 2016 population estimates for City of Bristol Local Authority