Lynn's loo-aid challenge is flushed with success
Silverdale could soon gain Toilet Twinned Village status after a local resident persuaded 60 volunteers to fight poverty by pairing their loo with a toilet overseas.
On her sixtieth birthday in July this year, school teacher Lynn Peck set herself the challenge of asking for 60 donations of £60.00 from potential toilet-twinners in her village.
Each twinned toilet is linked to a latrine overseas which benefits a local community where people hadn't previously had access to somewhere safe and hygienic to use.
Lynn, a primary school teacher, said she was overwhelmed by the tremendous support from local churches, community buildings, organisations, businesses and individuals.
The 60 local loos are now paired with toilets all across the world, including Afghanistan, Congo, Honduras, Cambodia, Malawi, and Liberia.
Some donors – all of whom receive a framed photograph of the toilet they have paid for – even offered to twin more than one toilet to enable Lynn to reach her target.
Helping to spark a chain reaction at the outset was popular Silverdale pub The Royal which came forward with three donations for its facilities.
Drinkers and diners at The Royal, owned by the local businessman Michael Holgate, can now see framed photos of the pub's toilet twins in Rwanda.
Lynn, who moved to Silverdale from Manchester five years ago with her husband Robert, said the local support she received had been "phenomenal":
"The idea of helping desperately poor people have access to a proper toilet and clean water very quickly captured the imaginations of people in the village," said Lynn.
"Bad sanitation is one of the world's biggest killers, and more than three billion people across the globe don't have a safe place to go to the toilet.
"It hits children, the elderly, and sick people the hardest – and there are special risks for women in Africa who are at risk of assault or being bitten by snakes in the open.
"It's amazing to think that there are now sixty small rooms in Silverdale dedicated to tackling this problem, and donors are still coming forward!" she added.
Lynn is organising the toilet matches through www.toilettwinning.org which brings toilets, clean water and hygiene education to impoverished communities.
The organisation also officially designates twinned status to UK villages and towns meeting its criteria, and Lynn is hoping that Silverdale may now qualify for the honour.