Corporate social responsibility has always been important to Yorkshire Water. In 2002, the organisation began looking for ways to reposition tap water’s role in health, while bringing lasting benefits to the wider community. As part of a campaign which would, in 2007, see the provision of fresh, palatable drinking water in schools become mandatory, Yorkshire Water launched Cool School. A core part of that project was the installation of 1,400 drinking fountains and bottle filling stations in schools across the Yorkshire Water catchment area. MIW Water Cooler Experts was recruited to implement the project.
The potential success of the Cool School campaign rested upon the installed water dispensers being accepted and adopted by students. To ensure that this happened, Yorkshire Water required MIW Water Cooler Experts to fulfil the following criteria:
The provision of a large number (1,400) of bottle filling stations that were quick and easy to use, low-maintenance and capable of withstanding the potentially high demands and rough usage of the school environment.
Each water dispenser must meet with strict water authority guidelines, as advised by Yorkshire Water’s Technical Division.
The supplied units needed to be branded with Yorkshire Water’s Cool School livery in order to promote the campaign that they underpinned.
MIW would need to work with the Yorkshire Water Project Management Team to a pre-agreed timetable, sourcing and installing all 1,400 bottle filling stations within the agreed timeframe and budget.
Once the water coolers had been installed, MIW were on hand if there was any continued support required at all 900 schools involved in the project.
Please note, this campaign to get a water cooler for your school is no longer valid.
The main challenge of this project was finding bottle filling stations that would meet the needs not only of Yorkshire Water, but the local authority, the head teachers in charge of the schools where the units would be sited, and of the children who would ultimately be using them. To ensure that no element of the brief was overlooked, MIW worked closely with Yorkshire Water project managers. The team also conducted site inspections to guarantee that the correct units were chosen for the project.
Specialists in WRAS-approved (Water Regulation Advisory Scheme) bottle refill stations and drinking fountains, the MIW team were able to quickly source units that were both technically compliant and enjoyable to use, ready for the school installations. Instrumental logistically as well as practically, the team worked hard in order to guarantee that each unit was branded, delivered and installed on time.
The Completed Project
During a 36 month period, MIW successfully worked across 900 sites, installing 1,400 branded bottle filling stations for Yorkshire Water’s Cool School campaign. The units catered for 270,000 students at the time of installation, and have provided cool, fresh drinking water for many thousands more in the years since.