One of the best things about this job is that we get to meet so many people who are trying to do good things as we go from project to project. Whether working for the environment, the community, or a bit of both, so many of our customers contact us for more than just an easy way to bring water into their office. Although we help a lot of businesses with that too! And although we often focus on our bigger jobs on this blog – our work for Cadw, Thames Water, and of course, the London Drinking Fountain Fund – sometimes just a single bottle filler can make a difference to a community. And that’s been the case in one of our more recent undertakings, working with United Utilities to bring free, fresh drinking water to Ashton Indoor Market’s Tameside Wellbeing Corner.
The Tameside Wellbeing Corner
Launched this summer, the Tameside Wellbeing Corner is a place for local people. Created as hub to help anyone who’s interested to learn a little bit more about maintaining a healthier lifestyle, the Wellbeing Corner will be hosting a variety of services for the community. From advice on access to adult education, to discussions and support on some of the bigger health issues – alcohol, social isolation – and one-on-one health checks, the centre is simply there to help anyone who needs it. And as part of that move towards wellbeing, United Utilities offered to fund the provision of a new bottle filler for the centre. The aim, of course, being to help keep visitors and staff hydrated and away from sugary drinks while reducing the amount of waste plastic on site.
The Tameside Wellbeing Corner Bottle Filler
Ashton under Lyne has been home to a market for more than 700 years. And it remains a focal point for the town. Open six days a week, the market’s customers are loyal and numerous, so any bottle filler installed would need to be fast and durable enough to cope with a high footfall. It also needed to be easy to use and wheelchair accessible to encourage as much use as possible. After some consideration, a Halsey Taylor Hydroboost Bottle Filling Station Surface Mount was selected.
As well as being WRAS-approved, the Hydroboost answered all of the market’s criteria. It’s also vandal-resistant with hands-free operation and no external moving parts making it a fairly difficult target. And its appeal has been instant. In the first month after installation, the bottle filler was used more than 400 times. And that figure can only grow as more people discover that it is there.
Public Health Programme Officer, Victoria Hamlett, explains: “We already have over 40 refill stations across Tameside, which are cafés, shops and businesses who offer free water refills to Refillers. The Tameside Wellbeing Corner is a space for promoting health and wellbeing and the services Tameside has to offer, therefore naturally having a water station within the Tameside Wellbeing Corner was a great way to improve the health and wellbeing of Tameside residents, workers and visitors by keeping them hydrated and in the know about Tameside’s health and wellbeing services.”
Maybe Just the Beginning
The really great thing about this project is that it is full of possibility. The Tameside Wellbeing Corner bottle filler provides a wonderful new facility for visitors to Ashton Indoor Market. But it is also part of a pilot scheme for United Utilities. Funding a second water station which will be based at Stamford Park in Stalybridge, the water company is working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, to find out how communities engage with the refill movement. If the bottle fillers are used and the public support the move, there could well be a network of drinking fountains and bottle fillers to come. And wouldn’t that be great news for the people of Tameside, and the environment?
The Tameside Wellbeing Corner is based at Ashton Indoor Market (unit 14), opposite the Pantry Bakery, Seaking Fresh Fish and Seafood and Pearson Family Butchers.