RUGBY has been crowned a ‘Toilet Twinned Town’ after local campaigners pulled together in an innovative fundraising drive to help flush away global poverty.
Local churches, schools, companies and community groups have been ‘twinning’ toilets in their homes and buildings with latrines in poorer communities overseas.
Each toilet is ’twinned’ for a donation of £60 to help fund a project in a poor community that will enable families to build a basic toilet, have access to clean water and learn about hygiene.
Once a toilet is twinned, it receives a certificate with its toilet twin’s photo and GPS coordinates.
Rugby Baptist Church member and social justice campaigner Emma Tiller has been a driving force behind Rugby’s Toilet Twinning ‘revo-loo-tion’.
She said: “Toilet Twinning has really captured people’s imagination and it has made them think about things we tend to take for granted, especially during a pandemic, like water on tap and a flushing loo at home.
“Toilet Twinning is a fun way to make a difference and tackle a really serious global issue.”
In 2014, Rugby Baptist Church was one of the first in the town to twin its toilets.
Fundraising projects included a Best Dressed Toilet competition, as well as selling cakes and cards. St Andrew’s Church, Bilton Junior School, the 2nd Dunchurch Scouts, the Inner Wheel Club, and many other individuals and businesses were inspired to join in.
Rugby’s Toilet Twinners estimate that since 2019, when they set their sights on achieving Toilet Twinned Town status, £10,000 has been donated and 165 of the town’s toilets have been twinned.
Toilet Twinning CEO Lorraine Kingsley said: ‘We have a strong sense of toilet humour in the UK but toilets are literally lifesavers in the places where we work.
“Without proper sanitation, people remain trapped in poverty. Having a toilet improves people’s health so they can work and farm and study. The people of Rugby can be proud that their generosity and hard work have changed many lives.”
Rugby Baptist Church is inviting people to ‘spend a penny – or more – every time they use the toilet between now and Easter to help twin more of the town’s public toilets.
Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rugbytoilettwinners to donate.