News / Children's Health Fund

Restaurant sector sugar tax to fund free drinking fountains

Money raised from a tax on sugary drinks in restaurants across the UK will be used to open water fountains in parks and public spaces in some of the most deprived areas of the country. These will be paid for by the Children's Health Fund, launched in 2015 by Sustain and funded by a 10p levy on drinks with added sugar in over 130 of the UK’s leading restaurants, cafes and coffee shops.

  • First tranche of money from restaurant sugary drinks levy will help children access more drinking water

  • Over 130 restaurants including Jamie’s Italian and Leon have put the 10p levy on drinks with added sugar

  • Children’s Health Fund now open for applications

  • Over £50,000 to be distributed to good causes, but could be £1 billion if Government introduce sugary drinks tax

The Fund today announced that it has raised over £50k so far and is now open for applications, with awards being made twice a year and the first round focusing on improving children’s access to tap water. Campaigners hope that access to free drinking water will discourage young people from buying unhealthy sugary drinks.
The news comes after the Government have put a national sugary drinks tax firmly back on the table of options in its forthcoming Childhood Obesity Strategy.
John Vincent, of Leon, said “Our addiction to sugar is making us sick and costing the NHS billions every year. We know that our children are consuming far too much sugar.  Even one can of a fizzy drink takes them over their recommended daily intake. In four months we’ve raised enough from our sugar tax to give thousands of children access to free, healthy water in their local park. Just think what could be achieved if the Government introduced a national tax and invested that back in our children’s health.”
Gloria Davies-Coates, Children’s Health Fund manager, said “Promoting access to tap water is the obvious flipside to encouraging less consumption of drinks with added sugar. There’s so much more that could be done to ensure that drinking water is more convenient to kids when they’re out and about, making it the default for thirsty active children.”

Ben Reynolds, Deputy Coordinator of Sustain, who are campaigning for a national sugary drinks duty continued, “We’re showing Government that this tax for good is really working, and is really going to make a difference for children across the country. But a handful of restaurants doing this is no substitute for Government action. The public support this and Mr Cameron has said this option is definitely on the menu. Now let’s put it into law.”


For press enquiries please contact:

Gloria Coates Davies
07772 760 205


Notes to Editors

1. Children’s Health Fund
The Children’s Health Fund was set up by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, with Jamie Oliver’s help in August 2015. The aim is to get restaurants and cafes to volunteer to put a 10p sugary drinks levy on non-alcoholic soft drinks on their menu with added sugar. This fund is overseen by an independent board, made up of experts on children’s health, food and education.  For more information on the Children’s Health Fund and to get your restaurant involved see

2. Children’s Health Fund grants
The Children’s Health Fund will offer grants twice a year for groups that are running programmes and schemes aimed at improving children’s health and food education. Each funding round will have a specific theme. This is the first funding round available and focusses on access to drinking water. Applications can be made online at  and will be judged by the Board. Deadline for applications is Friday 1st April 2016.

3. Children’s Health Fund Board
The Board are:

  • Professor Mike Rayner, Chair of Sustain and Director of British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, Oxford University (Chair of Fund)
  • Stephanie Wood, School Food Matters and Sustain trustee (Vice Chair)
  • Sean Tizzard, Big Lottery
  • Robin Ireland, Director of Food Active / Heart of Mersey
  • Helen Crawley, First Steps Nutrition
  • Jackie Schneider, Teacher and children’s food campaigner
  • Yinka Ewuola, Eagle Services Solutions, key campaigner on school food standards, Ofsted, etc.
  • Lindsay Graham, advisor to APPG on school food, key campaigner school food and holiday hunger.
  • Katie Palmer, Cardiff Food Partnership
  • Emma True, UK Youth Parliament

4. Main participating restaurants
Jamie’s Italian, Leon, Abokado, Tortilla, Big Chill House, Caminos, City Hall


A full list can be found here:


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Published 15 Feb 2016

Children's Health Fund: Set up by Jamie Oliver and Sustain in August 2015, the aim is to get restaurants to volunteer to put a 10p levy on non-alcoholic soft drinks with added sugar. This money will be paid into the Children’s Health Fund to support programmes and schemes aimed at improving children’s health and food education.

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