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Club launches Toilet Twinning Project on International Women’s Day

SI Harrogate and District celebrated International Women’s Day by launching their Toilet Twinning Project – aiming to become the first District in the country to become twinned. President Val Hills and members welcomed the Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, Cllr Stuart Martin and his wife April. Also the Mayor and Mayoress  of Harrogate Borough, Cllr Trevor and Jan Chapman and the Mayor of Pateley Bridge,  Cllr Mike Holt. We are pleased  other local Councillors including the nominated  Mayor of Harrogate Borough for 2022-23  Cllr. Victoria Oldham and  representatives from local schools, community groups and businesses were present. We were delighted to  also welcome Lindsay Green, President of Soroptimist International of Yorkshire

#BreaktheBias – International Women’s Day

Internationaal Women’s Day

President Val Hills spoke about why International Women’s Day is so important and The 8th March – a day chosen 110 yrs. ago to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Working together to ‘Break the Bias”

Soroptimist International’s  key objective is to improve the lives of women and girls. Locally and Globally. Our organisation, founded in 1921 has a long history of supporting women and children across the world. We want to ensure women and girls get access to education, are empowered and enabled to reach their potential. Locally we support Dementia Forward and our Local Food Banks including the innovative Resurrection Bites. Toilet Twinning is the Clubs main international project

Toilet Twinning

So why did we choose Harrogate District attainment of Toilet Twinned District status as our international  project?  Nearly 25% of the world’s populations doesn’t have access to a toilet or clean water. Having to use ‘the bush’ puts women and girls in even more jeopardy.  Not only from wild animals but also in fear of sexual assault or even murder. Lack of toilets at schools means that some girls stay away from school or cease school all together when they start having periods. We hope such a project will raise awareness about the issues faced by a quarter of mankind and encourage local people to take action.

Flushing Away Poverty One Toilet at a Time

Toilet Twinning is a great way ‘one toilet at a time’ to work with communities to provide a safe place to go to the toilet and ensure safe drinking water. It empowers communities to help themselves as well as providing education regarding safe drinking water. Therefore enabling all to have a healthier life, reach their potential and help eradicate poverty.


We heard first hand from Michelle from Toilet Twinning. She gave us an insight into how Toilet Twinning works.  The emphasis is on Toilets, Taps and Training. To empower and enable communities to have access to clean drinking water;  recognise the importance of hand hygiene in reducing disease and;  a safe and secure place to go to the toilet.

Eva from Soroptimist International of Sheffield spoke about how her Club successfully worked with organisations in Sheffield to achieve Toilet Twinning Status for Sheffield City. The key  factor is to engage with local organisations including the local council, MPs, schools, churches and the media.

Sue Williams provided practical information about how this relates to Club and how we hope to work with organisations to meet the thirty Toilet Twinned Toilet s required  for Harrogate District to become awarded Toilet Twinning status.

Heather shared her experience of visiting the loo at night in a remote area of Nepal and also made us laugh when she realised what she thought was the toilet was  fact a hut full  of goats! o

  • A  video made by Toilet Twinning is available for your viewing here
Civic party with Toilets courtesy of Duftons and and SI Sheffied and Poo Bear

So what next?

The Mayor and Mayoress will be twinning a toilet –  If you want to help us, and live in Harrogate District,  then please consider twinning your toilet. The cost is £60 for a toilet. Find out more informations here but please let us know when you have done it by emailing your name and order number to so we can link it to our campaign to achieve toilet twining status for Harrogate District.

You can also do this independently if you live outside our District.  It would be good to know if you have done this but you dont need to let us know your order number.

Thank you to everyone who supported us.  Tim from the Harrogate Informer, (see article).  SI Sheffield for the load of a camping loo and Poo Bear and Duftons Plumbers merchants for the Toilet.