Children at St Ives Nursery in Cambridgeshire have won a prize in an international competition organised by Diversey Care. 25 children, aged three to five years old, submitted a collage that incorporated their own hand prints and photographs of them washing their hands in response to a call for pictures or designs that followed the theme of 'creating a better way of life through hand hygiene'.
The judges selected the entry from hundreds received from around the world in the competition organised by the company as part of its support for the World Health Organisation's annual hand hygiene day. Judges were impressed by the way the children had combined a unique design with an everyday activity to learn about the importance of hand hygiene. Representatives from Diversey Care presented the nursery with prizes including games and activity kits when they visited St Ives recently.
“It's absolutely wonderful to have won this prize,” said Jean Vine, owner of St Ives Nursery. “We teach the children about the importance of hand hygiene from a very early age as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. They created a special design and were very excited when they heard they had won a prize.”
Kim Griffiths, deputy manager at the nursery, said: “It is important to have suitable hand washing facilities and tuition for children as part of their development with regard to health and bodily awareness. It teaches them the best way to stop germs from spreading and causing them to become unwell.”
The competition attracted entries from all around the world from teams and individuals. Other winners include a rehabilitation centre in Turkey and a hospital in the UK.
Representatives from Diversey Care visited St Ives Nursery to meet the children and tell them they had won a prize. During the visit the children were able to use a special ultra-violet light box that shows up dirty areas of the hand before and after washing. This helped the children see how well they were cleaning their hands. The children were presented with special certificates and the nursery received a selection of games and activity packs. The nursery was also presented with a display canvas to commemorate its success.
“We really valued the way the nursery integrated hand hygiene into an everyday activity and produced a creative and fun design that helped the children learn,” said Victor Cegarra, global project and portfolio manager for personal care at Diversey Care. “When you visit a nursery like St Ives you realise how important it is to focus on hand hygiene from the very beginning, and the multiplier effect that hand hygiene education brings back to the community in the short and long term.”