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Let's talk Toilets Day

November 28, 2019

We at Glampsan, were delighted to collaborate and share our impartial knowledge at the Let's Talk Toilets Day in Scotland on Monday 25th November 2019. The day was hosted by Deborah Grant from Inspiring Scotland, and Andrew Jenkins from PDx Consulting Ltd, facilitated the day. Thrive outdoors are part of the Inspiring Scotland charity and they lead the way in evangelising outdoor Early Learning & Childcare (ELC's) all over Scotland. In fact, they have the backing of the Scottish Government. Essentially, what this means is setting up preschools that educate our preschool children - all set in the great outdoors all year round.

(See end of blog for more details on Inspiring Scotland and Thrive Outdoors).

Their massive agenda has some huge goals and important reasons 'why' they do what they do too. For starters, they wish to tackle obesity, the climate crisis, as well as address mental health and child poverty issues at the same time.

Here are some headline stats...

The Big Picture - why outdoor ELC's are so important

Some of their top challenges they are facing from local authorities, parents, staff and other stakeholders are around what to with washing, changing provisions and toileting facilities.

This is made even more complicated by the varied patterns of use of these Outdoor ELC's. For example, below are four real-life scenarios produced by Deborah Grant from Inspiring Scotland and Andrew Jenkins (PDx Consulting Ltd):

Scenario 1: Off-Grid Local Forest/Country Park/Park/Space within the School Grounds

A site used daily for 24 children. Formal permission to use this land (from the council/government/trust/public landowner). Or the land is owned. An old shipping container is to be used as a shelter, with a system to capture/harvest rainwater, but no sewage.

Scenario 2:  Off-Grid Public Greenspace/Beach

Use of public space registered with the Care Inspectorate for 32 children (local park/greenspace/forest), with formal permission to use it (from the council/government/trust/public landowner). A nomadic operating model is used and rotating around areas to reduce the environmental impact, allow for seasonal changes such as nesting birds or flowering plants, and take into account using natural habitat for shelter from the sun and weather. The site must be cleared each day and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and ‘leaving little trace.’ There is no running water or sewage.

Scenario 3: Partially Serviced Land that is leased/Owned land/Council Owned land/Park/School Grounds

A site on land the council (or organisation) owns, with permission to erect a shed or semi-permanent structure (hobbit hut/converted container/modular unit). It is for 42 children, with room to expand in the future. It has a wood-burning stove for heat. It is simply for warming up on a cold day, rest, shelter, drying wet clothes. Think glamping! There is running water but no sewage on the site. A sustainable solution is to be used for waste and water etc.

Scenario 4: Off-Grid Land that is Leased/Owned land/Council Owned Land/Local Park/School Grounds

This site is close to a school or building, but not close enough to connect to sewage and water supplies cost-effectively. It will have a structure for shelter with permission to erect a shed or semi-permanent structure (hobbit hut/converted container/modular unit). The people involved in planning and delivery really want flushing toilets. They also care about the environment.

So, to create some potential solutions to the water and waste challenges, Inspiring Scotland hosted a 'Let's Talk Toilets Day'. It was a highly productive day were Local Authority and ELC staff were asked to create practical solutions to the above four scenarios.

Here's a short video showing the day in full swing:

This is what Deborah Grant had to say about their awesome day...
"This was the first time we had ever hosted an event of this nature. We all had an amazing time preparing this event and the event itself exceeded our expectations. The event was very well attended and people really engaged with the subject in hand."

Glampsan, amongst a few other notable experts, were also invited to share impartial knowledge. Our's was about potential types of typical commercial products available. For us at Glampsan, we felt that the above challenges were very similar to the issues faced by those setting up Glamping businesses.

Here's the SlideShare of our presentation showing a few practical solutions to overcome water and waste management problems for sites with either no mains water or sewage or those with one and or the other:

Social Media

One of our passions is that we love using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in quirky, fun and useful ways to inform you. For example we have an awesome blog site aimed specifically as glamping businesses to help to inform you of waste sanitation solutions.
So, head over to our blog website do regular videos too to help get useful messages across to our customers, and we'd love you to tell us, in the comments, what you think too people.

A bit more about Thrive Outdoors

Thrive outdoors are part Inspiring Scotland a national charity that uses a venture philanthropy model to bring together people, communities, organisations and government to drive social change and transform lives. The Thrive Outdoors fund is based on the philosophy that playing and learning outdoors is life enhancing. The Thrive team is leading the way in evangelising outdoor Early Learning and Childcare all over Scotland as the country prepares for the expansion of early years funded provision in August 2020. In fact, they have the backing of the Scottish Government, Alongside the Scottish Government and Inspiring Scotland, bodies as diverse as the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Glasgow Science Centre, as well as education groups, academics and NHS Health Scotland have signed up to a national Position Statement to make playing and learning outdoors an everyday activity for Scotland’s children and young people.


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