Bourne Ladies’ Circle change lives with toilet twinning

Bourne Ladies Circle raise money for Toilet Twinning, which provides latrines in poor countries. Nikki Darnes and Rachel Lee receive a certificate from mayor of Bourne Philip Knowles. EMN-150807-125205001

Bourne Ladies Circle raise money for Toilet Twinning, which provides latrines in poor countries. Nikki Darnes and Rachel Lee receive a certificate from mayor of Bourne Philip Knowles. EMN-150807-125205001

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Four ladies and a loo have changed the world for African school children.

Bourne Ladies’ Circle, currently a select group of four women, have spent the past year with a toilet in tow, raising money for Toilet Twinning, which provides latrines in poor countries.

Their fundraising efforts have netted enough to fund an entire school toilet block in Chad, which is now twinned with public toilets in the South Kesteven Community Access Point at the Bourne Corn Exchange, in recognition of local people’s generosity. The Ladies’ Circle presented the certificate to town mayor Coun Philip Knowles, on behalf of the Town Council, at the Bourne Carnival.

Rachel Lee, Barbs Mehew, Cat Salt and Nikki Darnes concocted all kinds of toilet-related activities and props to raise funds and raise a laugh to boot.

They wore tiny ‘toilet fascinators’ in their hair to their national conference and regularly invited people to ‘spend a penny’ in their ‘wishing well’ toilet bowl, donated by builders merchants Ridgeons.

They ran a Toilet Twinning stall at the town’s Christmas fair, and girls from the local Youth Centre performed a toilet-themed song and dance routine beside them. The Ladies’ Circle also created ceramic toilets at one of their craft evenings.

The women also raised £783 for the Bourne Foodbank, by helping with Santa’s Sleigh and holding a craft evening.

Outgoing chairman Rachel Lee was keen to support the Foodbank as a local project – and had heard about Toilet Twinning through the parenting website, Mumsnet.

She said: “We don’t think twice about nipping to the loo here and I can’t imagine what it’s like not to have a toilet.

“We’ve had a lot of fun fundraising for Toilet Twinning and I hope that shows!”

Ladies’ Circle is open to women aged 18 to 45 and is a sister organisation to Round Table.