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‘Quite an achievement for a little village’ – Walton-in-Gordano poised to become Toilet Champion Village

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 January 2018

Sue Betts with Brodie Lyon, Tom Chown and Clive Howell outside St Paul's Church toilet, holding photos of the toilets the church has sponsored in third world countries.

Sue Betts with Brodie Lyon, Tom Chown and Clive Howell outside St Paul's Church toilet, holding photos of the toilets the church has sponsored in third world countries.

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A North Somerset village has united to pay for a block of toilets to be built in Uganda as part of a twinning scheme.

Sue Betts with Brodie Lyon, Tom Chown and Clive Howell outside St Paul's Church toilet with photos of the toilets the church has sponsored in third world countries. Sue Betts with Brodie Lyon, Tom Chown and Clive Howell outside St Paul's Church toilet with photos of the toilets the church has sponsored in third world countries.

The team in Walton-in-Gordano has been so successful in raising money for toilets in poor villages around the world, they are hoping to be named a Toilet Champion Village.

For a £60 donation to the Toilet Twinning charity, a toilet can be twinned with one in poor areas around the world.

The money also pays to educate people about sanitation.

Sue Betts, the churchwarden at St Paul’s Church, said: “We started a couple of years ago with one toilet. Over the years, we have got up to nine toilets, which are twinned with ones in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Burundi.

“There was a World Toilet Twinning Day and we decided to join in.

“We went round with a potty collecting money and had a special church service.”

The service, which drew on the village’s parish records, showed what a difference good sanitation makes.

Sue said: “It covered a list of burials going back to 1840 and the number of children under five dying.

“Then in about 1860-1880, when fresh water came in to the village, the number of deaths was not as high.

“It was such a good demonstration of what is happening in the world.

“This is vital. It can come across as a bit silly, collecting money in a potty, but it is about saving lives.”

The potty collection surpassed Sue’s expectations, as she had hoped to raise £60 for one more toilet.

Instead, the village got behind the scheme and raised enough for a whole block of toilets in a school in Uganda, or a refugee camp.

Sue said: “It was quite overwhelming.”

Photographs will be taken of each of the toilets, and given to the village’s churches, the doctor surgeries in Clevedon and Portishead and MP Liam Fox.

The pictures, and having an article in the Times, will help Walton-in-Gordano become a Toilet Champion Village.

Sue added: “It is quite an achievement for a little village.

“It is amazing what we can do when everyone comes together and does something. £60 is not a lot of money, but it makes such a big difference.”

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