MORE than £500 has been raised by churches in and around Olveston to twin their toilets with a community in Uganda.

The toilet in St Mary’s Church, Olveston has joined the international Toilet Twinning initiative, along with toilets at Compton Greenfield Church and a ‘notional’ one at St John’s Church in Aust.

The project, an arm of Christian charity Tearfund, provides clean water and safe, private and hygienic toilets and latrines to developing countries where previously there were none, making a considerable impact to the lives of the communities concerned.

“It is a great project and is changing people’s lives,” said Lesley Clarke, chairman of the PCC at St Marys, Olveston.

“Worldwide, one in three people don’t have access to a working toilet or latrine.

“One of the sad things is that in many of these remote villages, many people don’t understand the link between dirty water, not having a working toilet and washing their hands and the diseases that particularly the children get.”

Money raised during the campaign, included nearly £300 from a soup lunch in May, with the rest from an advent craft session and other donations throughout the year.

The church have also arranged for Olveston Primary School to have their facilities twinned with a toilet block at a school in Malawi, an educational ‘gift’ to the pupils to promote the work of the project and raise awareness.

Last Thursday, Ms Clarke, who serves as the link between the church and the school, led an assembly about the twinning, talking about the project and what it means to be a part of it, and presenting a certificate to the children.

“They were really interested,” she said. “While they weren’t sitting in stunned silence, they were really engaged by what they were hearing.”

Anyone interested in twinning their toilet and helping to flush away poverty can visit or email