I want to write about a very special group of individuals, each with a unique story, all with a common goal: to support children and teenagers with bladder and bowel problems.

A large portion of ERIC’s work is funded by the kind donations of individuals and for the past 26 years ERIC has grown bigger and better due to the generosity of its loyal supporters.

Supporters like Cathy, who decided to take part in a half-marathon in aid of ERIC after talking to one of ERIC’s Helpline Advisors. Cathy’s sponsors got to hear about ERIC's work and stories of what life is like when your child has a continence condition.

I am so grateful that a charity like ERIC exists as it’s a difficult issue to deal with. It can be awkward to talk to people about wees and poos so it’s often not discussed openly. I hope that by doing this run for ERIC I not only raise some money for a small but greatly important charity but also make my friends and family aware of the issues and get them talking about wee and poo! (ERIC supporter Cathy)

Cathy Howkins

Cathy before the run

The last few years have been financially difficult for small charities. Public spending cuts have intensified the competition for funding from charitable trusts and foundations which provide ERIC’s main income stream. As charities who used to receive funding from councils and central government vie for grants, the grants are becoming smaller and rarer, whilst demand for services keeps growing. ERIC wouldn’t have survived the last few years without the generosity of our supporters.

There are many ways people can raise money for ERIC and awareness about children's continence. One of the most heart-warming fundraising stories I've heard came from a five-year-old boy who struggles to control his bladder and has to go to the loo every 20 minutes.

With the help of his mum and dad he organised his own 'Lav Nav Challenge' visiting toilets in seven counties. He raised £151 from sponsorship to support other children like him. His mum explained: “Raising money for ERIC allowed us to gain some control of the situation and to put a positive slant on things.”

I can’t think of a better way to break the stigma surrounding toileting problems. I feel privileged to be the first person to hear these stories and love nothing more than sharing them with the rest of the team.

Just like Rhia’s story. Rhia, ERIC’s Campaigns and Communications Manager, got married to Fernando in May 2015. She ended the speech on her wedding day by declaring the free bar open and encouraging guests to contribute to the 'honesty jar' in aid of ERIC.

It moves me to think that on the best day of their lives, Rhia and Fernando thought of the children and families ERIC exists to help. They raised £217.

Rhia wedding donation
Anna receiving the donations raised at Rhia’s wedding

Many other people contribute to ERIC to ensure we help those in need, like the people who donate twice a year to the Christmas and summer appeals. Some of whom have been doing this for a decade, and those who donate every month by direct debit, or by regularly visiting the website to donate, and the shop customers who make a donation at the check-out.

To all of our supporters who've kept ERIC alive for 26 years by fundraising, donating, volunteering, campaigning, and sharing our resources, I want to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU! You are making a massive difference to thousands of families.

Please consider making a donation to ERIC today.