Wherever the Need and Ripples

A charity and a bathroom retailer target water sanitation in India

EcoSan composting toilet
EcoSan composting toilet

In the small Indian village of Arasur, about five miles from Puducherry, 500 people live with limited access to sanitation facilities and clean drinking water.

However, a new partnership between the bathroom retailer Ripples and the UK-based poverty charity Wherever the Need has been established to put an end to this.

The two organisations, which are both based in Bath, Somerset, were introduced recently through a mutual friend.

David Crosweller, chief executive of Wherever the Need, said it seemed an obvious match.

"We talked about the work that we both do and it became clear that we do really similar things - just in different ways," he said. "They provide luxury bathrooms in the UK and we provide basic sanitation and water for people in India."

Juliet Harris, brand manager for Ripples, said that when it told Wherever the Need what its fundraising target for the partnership was, the charity recommended it used the money to fund composting toilets and clean drinking water for Arasur.

Ripples aims to raise £22,000 through various fundraising events.

Harris and the managing director of Ripples, Paul Crow, recently ran the Bristol half-marathon, and each of Ripples' showrooms around the country will make an effort to raise money.

Ideas include selling off display bathrooms - the money from which would go straight to the project.

Crosweller says Wherever the Need likes to work in partnership with companies in this way because it helps them feel that they have some ownership of the project.

In fact, Ripples is so involved that Harris will be travelling to Arasur in November to see how the project is progressing.

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