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The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has launched a campaign to promote awareness of a water label for bathroom products that will help save water.

The campaign was launched to mark World Water Day on 22nd March, the same week that the Environment Agency said that England could face a “jaws of death” situation in which there would not be enough clean water unless urgent action was taken to cut usage.

BMA CEO Yvonne Orgill said, “The Environment Agency are right to raise this issue but there is already a water label for bathroom products in the market place which provide information on water consumption, helping consumers to make more informed decisions.

“The Unified Water Label (UWL) is a voluntary scheme that is currently used by over 155 brands and registered with more than 13,200 products across Europe. The UWL provides a clear and simple system to identify water saving products. Choosing UWL products, which are then installed and used correctly, will deliver environmental and cost-saving benefits, without any loss in performance for consumers.

“We must also look at how consumers select and use their bathroom products as there is huge scope to save water by changing their habits.

“For example, homes that still have a WC that is more than 20 years old will be using twice as much water per flush as a modern dual flush WC. Recent research into consumer behaviour in the bathroom by the BMA found that people flush the WC on average 8 times per person per day- there is a potential saving of 32 litres per person per day by just switching to a modern WC.  The government’s target is to reduce water consumption by 40 litres per person per day so this one change would almost meet this target.”

The BMA has produced a number of videos that will help consumers understand what the UWL means and make them think about how they use water in their bathroom. The new videos can be found on the BMA website here.

Acres Consultancy has sponsored Andrea Williams, a student studying for the Foundation Degree in Kitchen Design at Buckinghamshire New University.

Andrea funded herself through the first year of the course and is delighted to have received a financial contribution towards the second year of her course from Acres Consultancy.

“I am grateful to Acres Consultancy for their contribution,” says Andrea. “Having completed the first year of the course, I am determined to complete it and fulfil my dream of becoming a kitchen designer. This financial contribution is a great help.”
Principle director Simon Acres says, “We are delighted to support Andrea with her degree. As a new business dedicated to training and education in the industry, we wanted to show our commitment to working with others that promote qualifications and training for our industry, as TKET do with Bucks University.”

Andrea works at Design a Space, a retail business which has two kitchen and interior showrooms in Bucks, and in addition to distance learning, takes time out to attend three long weekend residential sessions each academic year at the university.

Andrea says, “It is a great way to learn, I benefit from learning with industry experts that share how they approach projects and develop imaginative designs. I feel the course is giving me a comprehensive understanding of the industry, is broadening my product knowledge and is inspiring me to become a highly skilled designer.”

SMWF has marked National Apprenticeship Week with an inaugural apprenticeship award.

Rt Hon Claire Perry, Member of Parliament for the Devizes Constituency, presented the award to Kyle Smith at a ceremony held at the Smallbone workshop in Devizes on Friday 01 March.

The award was established to nurture the next generation of furniture makers and is open to all apprentices undertaking the apprenticeship programme with SMWF.

Kyle Smith’s dressing table was chosen as the winner based on the function and aesthetics of Kyle’s design as well as the quality of the original CAD drawing, his written work and the ability to work to deadlines.

Claire Perry said, “It was a pleasure and honour to be part of the award ceremony today, ahead of National Apprenticeship Week. Local businesses like Smallbone are such a vital and vibrant part of our community, providing jobs and supporting the next generation of skilled workers and I am very proud that SMWF craftsmanship from Devizes is so highly regarded across the world.”

Ian Gray added, “Congratulations to Kyle Smith, he is a worthy winner. This award recognises those, like Kyle that have excelled and sets a benchmark for those that follow.

“We are extremely proud of the programme and our commitment to maintaining traditional craftsmanship and furniture making skills. With three generations of furniture maker in the Devizes workshop, we hope this award will help us to maintain this tradition.”

Kyle wins a handcrafted award along with a cash prize of £1,000. Two Runner up awards were made to Josh Scott for his shoe cupboard and Harley Woodman for his chest of drawers. They both received a highly commended certificate and gift voucher.

The three finalists were selected from 13 entries, judged by; senior SMWF designer- Jai Godwin, SMWF special projects director- Iain O’Mahony and SMWF senior R&D carpenter – Andy Saunders, along with John Gibson- MD at national training provider, Didac.

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