Through support from Williamson and Priory Friend’s trustee, Corinne Whitham, the gallery has taken the unusual step of twinning the Williamson Art Gallery’s ladies toilets with a toilet in Pakistan.
Corinne held a fund raising event at her home in April with friends. By working with Toilet Twinning, a worldwide water and sanitation charity initiative enough money was raised to twin both Corinne’s own newly installed toilet and another.
With permission from the principal museums officer, Colin Simpson, the Ladies toilet at the gallery was twinned – chosen because of the high footfall from gallery visitors which would help raise awareness of the programme. Apparently displaying certificates in public toilets are the most successful way of raising awareness and many people go on to twin their toilets after seeing a certificate. The costs to twin a toilet are only £60 and by agreeing to twin your toilet, you help those in desperate poverty to have access to a proper latrine, clean water and the information they need to be healthy.
Corinne and her friends chose to twin with toilets (latrines) in Pakistan because aside from the hygiene issues associated with using fields etc, it is a significant safety issue for women going out alone after dark – which is also a reason for choosing to twin the Ladies toilet at the gallery.
If you are interested in hosting a similar event, the toilet twinning website and Facebook page have a lot of information about the work, the countries they work in and why. They also have a map of every twinned toilet in the U.K.! On the website, you can see toilet twinned councils schools universities and even a toilet twinned island – the Isle of Man.
So next time you visit the gallery and need to spend a penny, ladies, check out our certificate.
We also have a large accessible toilet which can be found off the foyer and are registered with Changing Places.
Changing Places toilets are designed to meet the needs of people with complex care needs.
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