On the blog

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

How do we become a Toilet Twinned Town?


We bet you’ve visited 20 different toilets in the past year. Imagine how amazing it would be if they were all twinned… That’s all it takes to twin your community. It’s easier than you think!

‘Toilet Twinned Town’ (or village or city or island) is an accolade we give to communities who have come together to twin lots of loos.

Skelmersdale in Lancashire became the UK’s first Toilet Twinned Town in January 2015 when a local vicar got his congregation to donate twins to public venues across the town. 

Since then, 14 other communities have received the award – from the city of Chester to the Isle of Man – and many more are in the pipeline.

Skelmersdale becomes the first Toilet Twinned Town. Photo: Martyn Snape

If you’ve twinned your own toilet, and perhaps given a Toilet Twin as a gift, the next step might be to twin your town. Without belittling the efforts of those who’ve already won the award, we reckon it’s not as hard as you think.

We ask you to reach a certain number of twins by achieving five different goals (eg involve the local council or MP; twin a school, church or businesses; and get some media coverage). The number of twins varies, depending on the size of your community. For a Toilet Twinned Town, for example, that can be as few as 20 and for a Toilet Twinned Village it can be just five.

Ask us today for the goals you’ll need to achieve in order for your village, town, city or island to get in on the action! Remember: every toilet built is used by an average of six people – so twinning 20 toilets could provide proper sanitation for 120 people… or more.

Here are some thoughts about how you might get started…

1: Make it a team effort
Gather some like-minded people who are passionate about privies.

Dorothy Mansfield was part of a group at St Andrew’s Church in Stewton who spread the word about twinning across their Lincolnshire village. The group held ‘Community Coffee’ events each month and gradually built up a ‘wall’ of toilet twins. The church had just invested in their own toilets so wanted to help others abroad.

Our friends in the aptly named Scottish town of Bathgate took a similar approach. Their Fairtrade coffee mornings proved a great way to raise funds and inspired several local townsfolk to twin their loos too.

2: Order a Make-a-Stand kit
Set up a Toilet Twinning stall at a local event and tot up more twinnings for your town.

Burnham’s Inner Wheel group led the way in making their Buckinghamshire community a Toilet Twinned Village. They held a stall at their local donkey derby, as well as other fundraisers which have included an Indian-themed evening and a quiz night. As a result, they’ve twinned several local loos including the newly refurbished public toilets. As Inner Wheel President Beryl Senior says, ‘We have learnt a great deal about toilets!’

Burnham Inner Wheel's stall at the local Donkey Derby
3: Spread the word by stealth
Don’t wait for people to donate: give them the Toilet Twin you want them to have!

St Paul’s Church in Skelmersdale drew up what they called a ‘hit list’ of local toilets they wanted to twin – from the staff loos at their local Asda to the local soft play area. Rev Chris Spittle says, ‘It’s been great to see churches, schools, care homes, businesses, shops, pubs, community centres, our mayor and MP all agreeing to receive a toilet twin.’

4: Think big if you dare…
The world’s your oyster: twinning your town is not the end of the road.

A Churches Together team in Eastbourne have set themselves the ambitious target of twinning 1,000 local loos in 2017. Eastbourne twinners are really going for it – contracting schools to plumbers merchants to hotels – and they’re backing up these efforts with a digital strategy which includes a website and an online giving page.


Group member Stephen Brown told BBC Radio Sussex that he though Eastbourne ‘probably has more toilets per head than any other town in the UK’, not least because of all its hotels and B&Bs. ‘We have 100,000 people in Eastbourne so we think 1,000 toilets is a do-able aim,’ he says.

Twinning your town is a sure-fire way to help local people bond around a great cause and change lives forever in poor communities.

Get in touch today so we can start you off on your journey towards becoming a Toilet Twinned community.


No comments:

Post a Comment