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‘Toilet Twinning’ Status Report

Programme Action Project

An Introduction

Soroptimist International of Sheffield shared the skills used to run the club which could be transferable to the workplace and easily shared with some young women. We approached one of the Sheffield Senior Schools, King Edward VII School and have developed an amazing connection with Year 12 and 13 girls and staff there.

By passing on these basic workplace skills to girls we helped them to have something else to add to their CV and UCCAS forms whilst getting enjoyment from their projects. The girls came along to meetings and participate in the projects which were mostly led by them. The girls developed marketing knowledge and skills, had opportunities to grow ideas, gained confidence in running a group with projects in mind, had chances to attend speaker meetings about various modern issues and became more aware of the many problems facing women and girls in the world today and the work of the Soroptimist organisation. In return we learned about Social Media, apps and video presentations.

The project

This project involved the girls organising various publicity events and raising money for the Toilet Twinning charity. The result is that Sheffield is now a ‘twinned city’ (only the second one in UK) with 42 twinned toilets and a total of £17,000 raised in Sheffield overall.

Following the guidelines from the International Toilet Twinning organisation, we set up a steering group, got in touch with our local MP and raised the city’s awareness through organised events. In school the girls raised awareness through articles in the school newspaper, taking assemblies in various year groups and at Open Evenings and did some fund raising through bake sales and asking people to sponsor twinned toilets.

The girls and the Soroptimists were successful in getting toilets twinned in schools, youth clubs, gyms, surgeries and clinics, sports clubs, cafes bars and restaurants, local businesses, the Town Hall, The Children’s Hospital and the City Hall. The 42 toilets are twinned with ones in Malawi; Pakistan; Cote d’Ivoir; Uganda; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Nicaragua; Zambia and Congo.

The success

The girls had so much fun and learned lots. They vow now never to take toilets for granted. They are delighted to have been educated, empowered and enabled along with helping girls around the world benefit in the same way.

On March 19th, a year later than planned, we were delighted that our President Hilary Ratcliffe OBE was able to present certificates marking Sheffield as the second toilet twinned city in England to both the Lord Mayor and the Master Cutler at our recent dinner.

Soroptimist International of Sheffield is delighted to have an opportunity to enter the ‘Women of Sheffield Awards’.