Local Walks for Water planned in Sussex and Kent in June

Local Walks for Water planned in Sussex and Kent in June

As we shared earlier in the year, following the success of our dispersed Walks for Water during the pandemic, we are encouraging our supporters to organise sponsored walks local to them to raise funds for WATSAN.

Two supporters have stepped up to the plate and are running walks this June. Participants from other parts of the country are most welcome to join these walks if you would like to meet other WATSAN supporters and enjoy a day out in a new area.

Amberley Walk for Water, Saturday 18th June from 9.30am

This is a 12-mile circuit in the South Downs National Park in West Sussex, taking in beautiful countryside, woodlands and fields, and the River Arun near Arundel (pictured). Details can be found in this leaflet. The walk leader is WATSAN trustee Graham Piper – contact him to join the walk at graham.piper@blueyonder.co.uk.

Faversham Walk for Water (“Up the Creek for WATSAN”!), Saturday 11th June from 10am

This walk is a mere 10.5 miles (or 25,000 steps), wending its way past the ancient buildings of old Faversham, along Faversham creek, out to the shoreline of the Swale and along the Saxon Way footpath to Whitstable via Seasalter. The walk is flat and most of it on the springing turf as you walk by the sea wall. Details can be found in this flyer. The walk leader is WATSAN supporter Martin Fosten – contact him to join the walk at martfosso@yahoo.co.uk.

We know both walk leaders would give anyone who would like to join the warmest of welcomes. Online sponsorship pages are easy to set up using our fundraising page on Stewardship.

WATSAN to host garden party in Surrey to celebrate 18th birthday

WATSAN to host garden party in Surrey to celebrate 18th birthday

We will welcome around 50 supporters by kind invitation of our patron Bishop Andrew and Revd Beverly Watson, at an event to celebrate 18 years since WATSAN started working in South Western Uganda.

On 21st May 2022 guests will enjoy news on screen from Uganda; have the chance to meet other supporters from across the UK, as well as our patron and trustees; as well as tour the beautiful garden at the Bishop’s residence and enjoy watery games followed by afternoon tea in the marquee.

The event is by invitation only but please contact our Secretary Ellie Bensted if you would be interested in joining: hello@watsanuganda.org.

Project work begins in earnest at Bwanga Hill

Project work begins in earnest at Bwanga Hill

Thanks to the record-breaking fundraising efforts during our series of dispersed Walks for Water, work is now advancing well on the ‘hardware’ components at Bwanga.

The dispersed Walks for Water across the UK, mandated by COVID restrictions, raised a fantastic total of £28k for our project at Bwanga Hill. This secondary school and rural community was seriously in need of support, and WATSAN’s dedicated trustees and supporters readily stepped up to help.

In his most recent report from the field, Project Director Eric Baingana has itemised the spending so far on the construction of a rainwater harvesting tank within the secondary school, as well as three tapstands, and two latrine blocks:

He says: “The tank is situated adjacent to the church building and is intended to serve resident staff and boys at Bwanga Secondary School. The purpose for this location is that the church is located uphill above the school staff quarters, which enables water from the tank to move down to the school by gravity, and the church has a massive roof which helps to serve this tank with enough rain water.”

The team is making great progress in spite of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID, which include school closures, curfews and limits on travel. The latter has prevented them from making as many inroads as they would like into the ‘software’ part of the project – engaging the local community in health and hygiene education, building a sense of ownership around their new facilities, and preparing to hand the structures over to them for ongoing maintenance. Restrictions have been easing into November and so we hope that these activities will recommence, so that work on this project can be completed by the end of March 2022.

Thank you so much again to all who raised funds for this project!

Find out more about our projects

Walks for Water – the future

Walks for Water – the future

COVID provided an opportunity to rethink WATSAN’s flagship fundraising event in 2021. Plan to be with us in June 2022!

Every two years since 2011, WATSAN Walks for Water have been key fundraising opportunities, raising vital funds for our projects in Uganda. In 2021, due to COVID restrictions and uncertainties, it was not possible to organise a single weekend gathering, as on the previous five occasions. However, the alternative of local walks held across England resulted in both a record number of participants and our best result ever of £28,212 for the Bwanga Hill project, which is now under construction and due for substantial completion by March 2022.

The trustees have therefore been presented with something of a conundrum. The local walks were popular and successful, thanks to our trustees and supporters, who worked so hard for us to achieve safe and successful outcomes. On the other hand we know that gathering everyone together occasionally has also produced enjoyable and worthwhile experiences.

We hope we have come up with an integrated plan, which relies once again on the willingness of trustees and supporters being prepared to organise local walks. Trustee Graham Piper and his wife Philippa are willing to offer a repeat of the popular South Downs Walk in June 2022. We would be delighted if others may be willing/wish to follow suit in 2022 and/or later years, and to organise their own local walks.

But this approach leaves us without any face-to-face contact with and between our supporters as a whole. To remedy this we are planning an afternoon gathering to which all our regular supporters will receive a personal invitation in due course. Meanwhile, please save the date of May 21st 2022! More details will follow, and we would hope to have a Ugandan presence, at least on screen.

In the meantime, we would be delighted to hear from previous organisers and new recruits who would be willing and able to organise a local walk on a date or dates in June 2022. Please contact Ian and Ellie.

Seeking new Secretary to join the WATSAN UK team

Seeking new Secretary to join the WATSAN UK team

Would you like to become more involved with WATSAN? The UK Support team is offering the opportunity for like-minded volunteers to join the Board of Trustees to offer their skills for the benefit of disadvantaged communities in Uganda.

Since 2005, WATSAN Uganda: UK Support has been raising funds from voluntary sources in order to work in partnership with a separately constituted Ugandan delivery team, which incurs project and running costs. We employ no staff in the UK, and have an annual turnover of up to £100,000, including regular donations, grant receipts and sponsorship from our regular big event: the Walk for Water.

The current trustees are looking to bring a more diverse range of perspectives and specialisms to the Board – and in particular to recruit a new Secretary with up-to-date administration skills. A full briefing and handover will be given by current Secretary Ellie Bensted, who has ably helped steer the charity in this role since WATSAN was founded in 2005!

A full job description for the Secretary role can be found here.

We would also be interested to hear from volunteers with experience in fundraising and event management.

Contact us to enquire or apply