Wenvoe Playgroup has a New Wash Trough

Kids love getting their hands dirty with fun activities, but washing hands was proving a bit of a problem for the children at a Wenvoe playgroup who had to stand on boxes to reach adult basins.

Thanks to a donation from Bouygues UK, who has been building the nearby Pencoedtre High School in Barry, the youngsters can now wash their hands in a child-friendly wash trough without the need to scramble on boxes.

Social value is at the heart of every Bouygues UK project and when the team working on Pencoedtre High School heard the children were struggling to use the adult basins, they arranged for mechanical and electrical sub-contractors FP Hurley to help them supply and fit a new wash trough. The new facilities will also be used by all the community groups who hire the hall where the playgroup is located, opposite Gwenfo Primary School in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Architect Chris Evans supports the Playgroup committee, a charitable trust that provides a vital service within the village of Wenvoe through a playgroup, breakfast club and wraparound service for the Gwenfo Primary School.

He said of the donation: “The existing toilets are dated and have wash hand basins at adult height and so the children have always relied on handwashing by standing on hop-up type boxes. With the pandemic, it was more important than ever to ensure the children had the right facilities to maintain hygiene standards and so the committee identified the need for a wash trough that would offer a facility for the children to wash their hands together, and at a level that negated the need for hop-ups.

“The Hall is also available for hire and managed by the Hall Committee that rely on community groups using the facility to generate income. Some of these clubs are child-based activities and so the wash trough also supports these groups. We approached Bouygues UK, who is building the nearby high school, to see if there was anything they could do to support us. They were quick to offer their services, not only to organise for the purchase of the trough itself but to have their subcontractor fit it for us.

“The children and committee were overwhelmed with the generosity of both Bouygues UK and FP Hurley. The children now have a modern and fit for purpose facility to wash their hands where they can interact with multiple users all at the same time.”

Playgroup leader Sandra Morgan says the wash trough has been a huge benefit to the children : “As fees just about cover the basic costs for the playgroup to operate, we would never have been able to afford the project that has been completed for us. We are extremely grateful to all those involved, from arranging the support, finance, plumbing and fitting of the wash trough for the children. It allows the children to access hand washing independently at a height they can manage without the use of plastic steps.

“This is a big part of their social and wellbeing development; learning to become independent in essential life skills. This not only benefits the playgroup, it also benefits the children’s dance classes, children’s parties, and has been appreciated by all hall users with the extra hand washing throughout the pandemic and beyond.”

Bouygues UK’s business development manager for Wales, Donna Griffiths, added: “Social value is a huge priority for us at Bouygues UK and we like to help local communities with every project we work on. It is fantastic to hear that the children – and the rest of the community hall users – are benefiting and using the new trough.”