St Albans pre-school youngsters are spending a penny for toilet twinning charity

PUBLISHED: 17:05 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 27 February 2017

Spending a penny at Old London Road Pre-School and Nursery, St Albans.

Spending a penny at Old London Road Pre-School and Nursery, St Albans.


Spending a penny when visiting the toilet has become literal for one St Albans pre-school.

Spending a penny at Old London Road Pre-School and Nursery, St Albans.Spending a penny at Old London Road Pre-School and Nursery, St Albans.

Youngsters at Old London Road Pre-School and Nursery, in Riverside Road, put coins in a dish every time they go to the loo.

They have been using portaloos for a few weeks, while new easily accessible toilets are built to improve their Scout Hut home and make it more accessible for all.

Anyone who has ever met community-spirited pre-school leader Janet Audley-Charles knows she is one of a kind.

So naturally she has turned the whole experience of new loos into a learning adventure for the children.

From helping contribute to fundraising, singing a song Janet made up about having new toilets and watching the building work, the tots have enjoyed getting involved.

When using the portaloos, children put loose change their parents or staff have given them in to the collection dishes outside - and the money will be used to twin the new toilets to raise money for charity.

Toilet twinning is a Tearfund project, where supporters pay a one-off fee and sponser a loo in Africa or Asia, helping provide clean safe sanitary latrines for families.

Now the pre-school is preparing to say goodbye to the builders and can “start arranging the very famous toilet party”, according to Janet.

She said: “We are on YouTube with ‘Probably The World’s First New Toilet Song’. Can you get 80 people in a room singing about toilets? Yep, I can! Can you get children excited about using portaloos? Yep, I can.

“I’m hoping to name the toilets after the countries that we twin the toilets with, so the children can say ‘I’m going to Kenya.’ At the moment they have to choose whether to go to 1, 2 or 3 loo and that makes going outside very exciting!”

Janet’s son Tobias shaved his head and drummed up £100 to kick-off the fundraising and the toilets were paid for by the 4th St Albans Scouts, with pre-school efforts adding a nominal amount towards it. Pre-school funded a disabled access ramp earlier.

In September, they will celebrate its 18th birthday. There has been a pre-school there for years but Janet took over in 1999 and has built it up from four children and two staff to 80 children and 17 staff.

Staff have 38 of their own children and more than 300 years of childcare experience between them.

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