Adventure Play Centre Promotes Hand Hygiene and Sustainability for Kids

Kid friendly hand dryers at William's Den

William’s Den adventure play centre at Castle Farm in North Cave, East Yorkshire has recently introduced hand dryers designed specifically for children in a bid to promote hand washing and sustainability in a fun and child-friendly way.

William’s Den, voted best visitor attraction in East Yorkshire in 2022, was opened in 2017 by husband and wife team, Tor and Christian Carver. They converted a farmstead in the Yorkshire Wolds into a truly unique tourist attraction. The site, which the was inspired by their son and his friends, comprises indoor, outdoor and woodland adventures designed to give children the chance to connect with nature and push their physical and mental capabilities in a safe and exciting way. They also offer family camping in a fabulous countryside setting surrounded by some of the best scenery that Yorkshire has to offer. With close access to the Yorkshire Wolds Way, there are nearby activities including golf, fishing, water sports and a nature reserve all within easy reach, as well as the historic cities of York and Hull and the seaside resorts of Hornsea, Bridlington and Scarborough.

The recent project involved upgrading all nine of the existing hand dryers in the centre’s washroom facilities with custom branded Quad hand dryers from Oxford based manufacturer, Airdri.

The Quad is one of most socially inclusive models currently on the market. It was developed to have an ultra-low sound output – a huge tick in the kid friendly box after research uncovered that 38% of UK children are scared of hand dryers – and customisable fascia, making it the perfect choice for William’s Den, who opted for four cute custom designs to adorn the new hand dryers in keeping with their company branding. The new hand dryers have had great feedback, proving popular with kids and grown-ups alike.

Sustainability is a huge part of the William’s Den ethos, with every part of the adventure centre thoughtfully constructed to create a place that re-uses and recycles, rather than taking away from the local environment.

From solar panels for electricity to loos powered by a rainwater harvest system to heating supplied by a big biomass boiler fuelled by wood pellets as an eco-friendly and low carbon alternative to fossil fuels, the materials used here are sourced from natural and renewable sources wherever possible. Even the play equipment is made from natural materials from the surrounding woods. Pre-loved materials have been salvaged and repurposed all around the site. Old gate posts have been used as lintels instead of concrete and the amazing tree stumps within The Den – one of the UKs largest bespoke indoor timber play areas – creates an indoor play experience aligned with nature. The walls in The Den are partly made from hemp blocks, grown locally in East Yorkshire, which not only use very little energy, but also help to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the process.

All of these initiatives play a huge part in reducing the carbon footprint of William’s Den, so it’s only natural that they would look to extend their sustainability drives to include the site’s washrooms.

Airdri Quad hand drying units were originally installed when the site was built in 2017 as an energy-efficient and eco-friendly alternative to paper towel dispensers. A single paper towel dispenser can produce as much as 160kg of contaminated waste every year which means it can’t be recycled and consequently ends up in landfill in plastic bags. As the units were coming to the end of their warranty period, Airdri offered to upgrade them with custom branded models.

William’s Den Co-Founder Tor Carver explains more:

“After much research in the hand dryer market, Airdri was the obvious choice for us. The units not only look fab, they’re amazingly quiet – yet very efficient. Our younger customers love the design and rather than run away from the dryers they positively want to use them. The energy efficient units also tick the box when it comes to our approach to sustainability. All in all, Airdri is the perfect partner for William’s Den and we couldn’t be happier with their performance.”

Hand hygiene has become increasingly important since the pandemic – even when washed properly, bacteria and germs multiply more quickly on wet hands – so it’s paramount to encourage children to practice good hand hygiene, including drying their hands properly. Customised Quads will play a positive role in getting kids familiar with the sights and sounds of the washroom.

Steve Whittall, Chief Operating Officer at Airdri, had this to say:

“We were really pleased to be able to work with William’s Den to provide child friendly hand dryers for the play centre washrooms. It’s so important to teach children that hand dryers aren’t a scary and loud device in the washroom, but rather an important step in keeping hands clean and, in our experience, using low sound units with fun designs can help make the washroom experience much more enjoyable for children. Hearing that they actively want to use the dryers is testament to how some simple considerations in the washroom can make a big difference for the children using it.”

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