Meet Frank

As well as being a volunteer speaker, Frank has completed 18 coastal walks for WaterAid and in 1999 joined one of our trips to Ghana, to see first-hand the work we're doing there.

How did you first get involved with WaterAid?

I got involved with WaterAid 30 years ago while working for Northern Ireland Water. I started out promoting the charity, as well as organising fundraising activities like sponsored events and quizzes. In 1995 I became the Northern Ireland WaterAid Treasurer and soon after that I started doing WaterAid talks.

Then, in 1999, I was invited to go on a WaterAid trip to Ghana. I had a really enjoyable and challenging experience and it really opened my eyes to the needs of so many people and the benefits of WaterAid's work. I still use some of my stories from that trip in my talks today.

What is it about WaterAid that inspires you?

Realising so many people have no choice in the water available to them and the consequences of waterborne diseases really touches the deepest emotional feelings. Working in the water industry, where the provision of clean water is of ultimate importance, gives me another angle on the subject too.

I still remember the names and stories of people from my trip to Ghana – these individuals, communities and people make the big picture, and I wanted to do what I could to help. I could see the huge benefits that can be gained from the small amount of money needed to build a well.

What memories do you have from the trip?

I brought three different items back from my trip to Ghana - an African straw hat, a shirt and a drum. I love to take these items along to my talks so I can share their stories.

One of the stories I enjoy telling is about Matilda, a 52-year-old lady who walked three times a day for water. In the evening, in her mud hut with just the light from a palm oil candle, she made hats and baskets to sell at the market. Each hat took three weeks to make.  

When I was there, Matilda was about to start a new chapter of her life, as her village was about to get a new WaterAid well and she wouldn't have to walk so far for water. Because of the well, her village was having a large celebration, in which they presented all the men with hats and the women received baskets – and I received one of the hats she had made for this important celebration.

Could you become a speaker? We're currently recruiting for new, inspiring ambassadors to join our Speaker Network. We only ask that you're comfortable speaking in public and that you're passionate about what we do. Download the role description or email us for more information at [email protected]