You'll never guess the title that a Sheffield women's group and school students won for the city
A Sheffield women’s organisation and sixth-form students at a city school have joined forces to make international connections - through toilets!
Soroptimist International of Sheffield wanted to pass on the skills they have developed in running their club to a group of young women so they approached King Edward VII School and have been working with year 12 and 13 girls and staff for two years.
Their first project was running a fashion show that raised £1,000 for Rotherham Abuse Counselling Services.
Then the students embraced SI Sheffield’s main project for 2019/20 - to make Sheffield the first Toilet Twinned City in Yorkshire.
Toilet twinning supports the work of the charity Tearfund to bring better toilet facilities and hygiene to poor communities globally. Donors get a certificate with the GPS co-ordinates of the toilet they’re twinned with.
The girls set out to make their own school the first Toilet Twinned School in Sheffield. They held fundraising events, published articles in the school newsletter and delivered presentations in assemblies. They persuaded the head and deputy to purchase a whole twinned school block.
The students and the Soroptimists have got 42 toilets twinned in schools, youth clubs, gyms, surgeries and clinics, sports clubs, cafes, bars and restaurants, businesses, the town hall, the children’s hospital and the city hall.
They are twinned with ones in Malawi, Pakistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Nicaragua, Zambia and Congo.
Sheffield is now only the third ‘twinned city’ in the UK, and the project raised £2,600 to add to the total of £17,000 raised in Sheffield overall during the year SI Sheffield ran the project.
A spokeswoman said: “The girls had so much fun and learned lots. They now never take toilets for granted.
“They are delighted to have been educated, empowered and enabled, along with helping girls around the world to do the same.
“SI Sheffield members are delighted to have won the prestigious Yorkshire Soroptimist Mary Hilary Award for 2020.”
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