On the blog

Friday, 27 July 2012

Champion Twinner Gweirydd Williams talks to Toilet Twinning

Introduce yourself in under 30 words:
I’m Gweirydd Williams, Environmental Health Officer in Bridgend, South Wales.

How many toilets have you twinned (directly and indirectly)?
I’ve twinned 34 toilets so far. The first was at the council offices where I work:  instead of sending Christmas cards we donate money towards a charity and I proposed Toilet Twinning. 

Then – on a roll - I wrote to my local MP, Huw Irranca-Davies, who twinned a toilet in his office, and I also twinned one at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in Wales.  

Some missionary friends of mine were visiting and saw my twinned toilet, so I twinned theirs in the Philippines as a gift. I think it’s the first twin from that part of the world! 

Recently I had the idea of having my back waxed. I roped in Scott, my next door neighbour, who’s a bit of a good laugh.  It was quick, painful and different, and yielded enough to twin 22 toilets so it was well worth it.  There’s a video of us having the waxing on YouTube click here

When did you first hear about Toilet Twinning?
I’ve known about Tearfund since I was a teenager, and am now a Tearfund representative. I saw a Toilet Twinning leaflet in a Tearfund Christmas catalogue and it all started from there.

 What stood out to you about Toilet Twinning?
As a Christian, I liked the fact that the scheme is run through Christian charities, and that a definite amount - £60 – is asked. Having travelled to the Philippines both with my church and the Overseas Missionary Fellowship, I’ve seen what happens when people don’t have toilets and how it impacts them. Also, as an Environmental Health Officer I often have to deal with issues around waste and sewage so I know the dangers.

How have you encouraged others to support Toilet Twinning?
I visited my daughter’s school to give a talk on hand-washing and hygiene, and they decided to twin their toilets. I have since written to other schools in the area to see whether they would also be interested in a visit from their local Environmental Health Officer about Toilet Twinning.

What are your plans for the near future?
We will be holding a Mission Night in our church in October to raise funds for Toilet Twinning and I am thinking about having a bag packing day at a local superstore.  I’ve also got some great ideas for next year’s sponsored activity but at the moment it is under wraps!

What’s your Toilet Twinning ambition?
I hope that many, if not all, of the 22 local authorities in Wales will twin their toilets, as well as schools and churches.  My overall aim is to twin 100 toilets, so there’s only another 66 to go!

Toilet Twinning says 'Thank you Gweirydd!'