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We are pleased to announce that from October 2017, all children attending YMCA nurseries and pre-schools across Southampton and the Isle of Wight will be able to access fresh drinking water from newly installed water fountains. 

As part of funding secured from the Children’s Health Fund, the water fountains will be easily accessible from the garden of each location. Children will be encouraged to independently access the water and inspired to select water to drink through specific activities that involve drinking water combined with having fun! 

YMCA Southampton Area Director, Andrew Simpson said: “The YMCA are very grateful for the donation from the Children’s Health Fund as this has enabled us to work with families to support healthy choices for drinking water both at childcare settings and at home. We believe that integrating the water fountains into other activities will encourage greater hydration which in turn will assist with children’s learning and development”

Parents will be encouraged to join in with staff in filling their own water bottles outside and drinking water where the children can see them. Ongoing assessments will be conducted to review children’s choices of drink at nursery and at home following this implementation with the aim of increasing daily water consumption overall.

Children’s Health Fund Manager, Gloria Davies-Coates said: “We are delighted to be able to help YMCA Fairthorne ensure that children and their families have access to free drinking water. Play is the work of children and it is thirsty work! We know that increasing accessibility to drinking water reduces the consumption of sugary drinks which damage our children’s health”.