Students find twins for toilets

Students help buy toilets.
Students help buy toilets.
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Students at Warwick University have lifted the lid on the lack of proper toilets in poor countries.

A Privy Council of students at the university have raised thousands of pounds to fund more loos in places that need them.

The five students have managed to raise more than £3,000 this academic year to twin 49 loos in the Student Union building, through charity campaign Toilet Twinning.

These 49 loos now boast certificates showing the latrines they are twinned with overseas, in countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zambia.

Led by fourth-year students Emily Boyce and Jess Docherty, the group combined creativity and punning in a series of toilet-themed fundraisers throughout the year.

To mark World Toilet Day on November 19, they organised a Big Squat – which involved a relay team of students squatting for 12 hours in the main campus piazza. Other events included a cake bake, a second-hand clothes sale and an ‘Apoostic Night’ when musician friends laid on a fundraising gig at The Lounge, Leamington.

Emily heard about Toilet Twinning at a youth festival and through her church, St Paul’s in Leamington, whose toilets are also twinned. Toilet Twinning was originally founded by Leamington-based charity Cord.

She and Jess quickly gained the support of the Student Union, the Student Council and the Christian Union – and a quirky reputation on campus. Emily said: “We were very loud on social media to the point where people knew us as ‘those toilet people’.”

Jess added: “We are both passionate about international development so that made us want to give time to it.”