Cumbrian Curate campaigns to create a toilet twinning city
A Cumbrian curate is campaigning for Carlisle to become an accredited ‘Toilet Twinning’ city, to help prevent the spread of disease in developing countries.
The Rev’d Graham Potter, assistant curate at St Luke Morton, wants to see churches, schools and businesses come together to raise money to ‘twin’ toilets by building latrines in developing countries to help improve hygiene.
The organisation Toilet Twinning funds the work of the international relief and development agency Tearfund, and to date has helped build more than 64,000 toilets in overseas communities.
Now Graham has overseen the twinning of four toilets at St Luke’s Morton as well as those at the Morton Op Shop which is part of the network of charity shops run by the Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria.
Graham explained: “When I explained the idea to people, they very quickly began to fundraise for the toilet twinning. Within no time we had raised enough money to twin the four toilets in church.
“Because half of my time is also spent working in the Op Shops we decided that Toilet Twinning should be designated as our international charity. Staff and customers at Morton Op Shop held a coffee morning and they raised enough money to twin two toilets.”
Graham also raised the Toilet Twinning initiative with staff at the Newlaithes Junior School and the school council chose to fundraise in order that their toilet block could be twinned.
Under the scheme it costs £60 to twin individual latrines and £240 to fund the twinning of a toilet block. The donor then receives a certificate which includes a picture of the toilet twin as well as GPS coordinates for its exact location. Toilets have been twinned in countries such as Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Uganda, Chad and Nepal .
As well as creating a new latrine, communities are educated in hygiene and hand washing to help prevent further spread of disease.
Now Graham is keen to see Carlisle become designated as a toilet twinning city. For that to happen there are criteria which have to be met including: the local council or MP must twin their toilet and there must be two toilet twins in places such as churches, schools, public toilets, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and local businesses.
Graham added: “I would love for Carlisle to be designated as a Toilet Twinning city. This project is so important because it’s not just about giving a hand out to people.
“This is a way in which we can use our understanding of health and hygiene to help others in developing countries. These people then begin to explain to their own communities the importance of using proper toilets and the need for hand washing because they will have already seen the benefits.
“It’s beautifully simple, but it has already proven to be really effective in the areas where toilet twinning has taken place.”
Graham is offering to give presentations to community groups, churches and schools about the Toilet Twinning scheme. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
For more visit www.toilettwinning.org
For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at email@example.com.