Scottish Water supporters hit their peak On Saturday 11 June, a host of intrepid adventurers took to the hills to raise funds for our work as part of the WaterAid Mountain Challenge, including some of our wonderful supporters from Scottish Water, who braved the elements to make it to the top of one of the 214 Wainwrights. "It was a brilliant weekend at the Lakeland Fells," says Michelle MacInnes from Team CatBells Babas (including the amazing eight-year-old Rachel), who reached the top of Cat Bells fell near Keswick. A massive thank you to everyone who took part, and helped us on our journey to reach everyone everywhere with access to safe water and toilets by 2030. Arup celebrate 15 years in Belfast by raising money for WaterAid To mark 15 successful years in Belfast, Arup arranged a series of events to fundraise for their three chosen charities – WaterAid, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland and Marie Curie Cancer Care. Events included the Belfast Marathon, Lap the Lough, a pub quiz and bake sales, which raised a grand total of £3,768.96 for all three charities. We'd like to say a huge thank you to Arup staff for their continued support for WaterAid. We can't wait to see more of your brilliant fundraising activities! Chair of Northern Ireland WaterAid Committee awarded an MBE Frank Mervyn Stewart from Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, has received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his voluntary service to the community and WaterAid in Northern Ireland. Frank has been supporting WaterAid since 1984. The 64-year-old is the current Chair of the Northern Ireland WaterAid Committee, which recently reached the incredible £2 million mark in its fundraising. Following his award, Frank explained his motivation for supporting WaterAid's vision of a world where everyone everywhere has access to safe, clean water. “My work in the Northern Ireland water industry gave me an appreciation of the benefits a clean water supply can bring, not only for survival day-to-day, but for long-term economic prosperity." "The simple aims of WaterAid to provide water for the world’s poorest people seemed a good answer to a big problem, providing sustainable cost-effective infrastructure." WaterAid Spring Ball raises an incredible £105,800 The annual WaterAid Spring Ball, organised by Scottish Water employees, smashed its fundraising target with generous guests donating an amazing £105,800 towards WaterAid’s work in Zambia. The night was hosted by Jane McCarry, star of the BBC's Still Game, and was attended by over 400 guests. For the first time ever there was a Silent Auction at the event, which raised over £12,000. Items up for grabs included a Monaco Grand Prix experience on a superyacht, a flight with FC Barcelona on their private jet, a pair of Muhammad Ali's gloves and much more. "The hard work the committee put into organising the ball could clearly be seen on the night – the event really had the wow factor," says Ken Hutchison, WaterAid's Chairman for Scotland. "The speakers from Scottish Water's trip to Zambia really brought home the message that every penny raised has the ability to change lives." Scottish Water staff visit Zambia In October 2015, an enthusiastic group of Scottish Water staff headed out to Zambia to visit our projects. The team visited communities both with and without access to safe water, which helped them to gain a real understanding of the challenges communities and local water companies face. “To understand WaterAid’s work on our trip to Zambia was a life-altering experience,” says Richard Grierson, one of the supporters on the trip. “Meeting different communities helped us realise the importance of safe water, taps and toilets in daily life.” Since their return, the Zambia team have helped at a number of events including World Toilet Day 2015, and have delivered numerous presentations to their colleagues at Scottish Water. Read the team's blog on the Scottish Water website > World Toilet Day 2015 is a huge success at Scottish Water office World Toilet Day, 19 November, was a triumph at the Scottish Water office in Stepps in 2015. WaterAid representative Louise Bannerman and volunteers raised an amazing £1,000 towards our work in Zambia by hosting a bake sale and raffle. Staff who had recently visited Zambia also gave a presentation and held a Q&A session with their colleagues. Arup cyclists Lap the Lough for WaterAid On Sunday 30 August, a team of Arup Belfast cyclists took part in Lap the Lough 2015. Lap the Lough is an annual cycle event around Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland and Britain. The event encourages as many cyclists as possible to do one lap of the lough and raise money for local charities and groups. Arup is celebrating 15 years in Belfast throughout 2015 and it hopes to mark this milestone by raising funds for their three chosen charities, one of which includes WaterAid. WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee represented at No. 10 event Celine Rodgers recently represented Northern Ireland WaterAid supporters at a reception hosted by Samantha Cameron at 10 Downing Street. The reception, held in support of WaterAid, aimed to draw attention to the 650 million people in the world without access to clean water and the 2.3 billion without a safe toilet. Celine, who visited a WaterAid project in India last year, joined WaterAid supporters from across the UK, MPs, former footballer and MBE Cyrille Regis, actor Dougray Scott and singer Rachel Stevens at the event. The reception was held the day before WaterAid presented 115,056 petition signatures to the UK Government, to support a standalone goal on water and sanitation when the UN nation states sign up to the Sustainable Development Goals in September. "It was only 150 years ago that Belfast dealt with the stench and filth of the polluted River Lagan and put in place the infrastructure to end cholera; transforming lives and our city's streets," says Celine. "We can draw lessons from this even today.” WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee celebrate 100th meeting This July, the WaterAid Northern Ireland committee had a special reason to celebrate as they came together for their 100th meeting. The committee now meets four times a year, and consists of representatives from across the water industry who are dedicated to raising vital funds for WaterAid's work. "From its humble beginnings back in 1984, the WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee has gone from strength to strength and we now have more meetings than ever before," says Frank Stewart, who played a central in setting up the committee in 1984. Frank has also recently been appointed as the committee's new chair for the next two years. The committee have also just set up a new country link to Zambia and any money raised by the committee in Northern Ireland will go directly to WaterAid projects there. Over half of Zambia's population live in poverty and millions lack access to clean water and safe toilets. WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee member Emer Murnaghan recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours WaterAid Northern Ireland committee member Emer Murnaghan has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Emer, who is head of business improvement for GRAHAM Construction and an active member of the WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee, was awarded an OBE for services to the civil engineering profession and further education in Northern Ireland. Emer is only one of 15 people in Northern Ireland to receive an OBE in this year’s birthday honours list. "I’m delighted and embarrassed in equal measures. It is a great honour and I am humbled to think that others deem me worthy of such an esteemed award," says Emer. "Not only is Emer a fantastic ambassador for the civil engineering profession, she is also an active member of our committee and participates in many fundraising activities for the charity,” adds Celine Rodges, Secretary of the WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee. WaterAid Scotland Golf Day a big success again in 2015! 24 teams attended the annual WaterAid Scotland Golf Day, raising a massive £23,500 for WaterAid’s work in Zambia! A well timed shotgun start kicked off play on a very typical Scottish summer's day. As the men finished up their rounds, they were welcomed to a hot buffet dinner and given the pleasure of a hilarious speech by Jim Leishman MBE, Fife’s very own Poet Laureate. The champions on the day were Land Engineering! The WaterAid Scotland Golf Day could not have been possible without our fantastic sponsors: Main Event Sponsors: BT and Tata Consultancy Services Bronze Sponsors: George Leslie Ltd and Sopra Steria Hole Sponsors: Kempen Capital Management, Thames Water Commercial Services and Enviro-Clean (Scotland) Ltd. We hope to see you all again at our event in 2016! Quiz night in Belfast raises almost £6,000 for WaterAid Following World Water Day, WaterAid Northern Ireland held its annual quiz in Belfast, raising almost £6,000. The event, organised by the WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee, brought the water industry together to test their minds at the hands of quizmaster and WaterAid volunteer, Ken Lowry. Photo: Ian Glass, Chair of the WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee, Bill Gowdy Director of Engineering and Procurement at Northern Ireland Water, and WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee member Ruth Dickson. Pipe band raises cash for WaterAid Water industry workers formed a pipe band and played to a delighted audience in Belfast’s Corn Market on Friday 20 March to mark World Water Day. Jim McElrath, popular pipe major with County Tyrone’s Augharonan Pipe Band, has worked in the water industry for many years and came up with this novel venture, raising almost £5,000 for WaterAid. Jim, and leading drummer Stephen Young, assembled a pipe band composed of pipers and musicians from 16 bands to perform to Belfast shoppers. Spring starts with a £90,000 bang for WaterAid Scotland! The start of spring signifies the annual WaterAid Scotland Spring Ball, which took place on Friday 20 March at the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow. The event, which raised over £90,000, was hosted by Sanjeev Kohli (Navid of Still Game fame), and attended by almost 500 guests. This fantastic event would not be possible without the dedicated volunteers from Scottish Water, who spent months organising the ball, and the companies who sponsor the event. Thank you to our ball sponsors Platinum: amey Black & Veatch Caledonia Water Alliance Gold: amey Black & Veatch Caledonia Water Alliance Processplus Bronze: George Leslie Ltd EEG Pathfinder Driving fundraising One lucky supporter at the WaterAid Scotland Spring Ball, drove off in a brand new car thanks to event sponsor Processplus. Ruth Cooper, who attended the event with her husband Stewart, was delighted to win the Ford car. She passed her driving test in August, and can now take her two-year-old son Jacob out and about with ease. The car, donated by Processplus, raised over £7,500 on the night when guests were asked to enter a prize draw to win the Ford. Enviro-Clean (Scotland) Ltd revs up support for WaterAid Scotland We're excited to announce a unique new partnership with Enviro-Clean (Scotland) Ltd, who will be donating money from the use of their new sewer cleaning machine to help us improve access to clean water around the world. As part of the partnership, the cleaning company are also featuring WaterAid's messaging on their Kaiser Whale Sewer Cleaning Machine vehicle (pictured left). Enviro-Clean (Scotland) Ltd chose to support WaterAid Scotland because of a shared commitment to sustainable approaches in development, to understand the problems surrounding access to water and sanitation. "We're proud to support WaterAid and the tremendous work they do, to provide clean water and safe toilets in developing countries," says Jim McLuskey, Managing Director for Enviro-Clean (Scotland) Ltd. "We know that every pound raised will make a difference in someone's life." City Hotel turns waste into water Staff from the City Hotel in Derry-Londonderry have taken part in a recycling initiative to help WaterAid transform the lives of people around the world through access to safe water, taps and toilets. By recycling the hotel’s plastic and cardboard, employees have raised a fantastic £600. Sheila Coyle, a Northern Ireland Water WaterAid representative, was presented the cheque with Hayden McMullan, a WaterAid Northern Ireland committee member. Photo: Martin McKeown/Inpresspics.com WaterAid Scotland hosts first Annual Supporters' Meeting Supporters from all over Scotland made sure the inaugural WaterAid Scotland Annual Supporters' Meeting in December was a big success. Attendees, including volunteers and fundraisers, shared stories of raising vital awareness and funds for WaterAid, and learned about how that money has transformed lives. Speakers included Helen Anderson and Elizabeth McKernan from the WaterAid Scotland team, and Louise Bannerman, a representative from Scottish Water, who talked about their highlights of the last year. Barry Hardy from Scottish Water also talked about his recent experience on the WaterAid supporter trip to Uganda, vividly describing our programme work in the country. The overall theme of the day was celebration and the meeting showed the wide range of extraordinary activities taking place for WaterAid in Scotland – all to help some of the world’s poorest communities gain access to clean water and safe toilets. Star Supporter Awards for outstanding contributions to WaterAid were also presented to: Jude McEwan: a six-year-old who donates his pocket money to WaterAid and asked his friends to make a donation instead of buying him a birthday present. Cooper Wark: a seven-year-old who made and sold calendars for WaterAid. John White: an eleven-year-old who presented an assembly at his school about the story of Eric, a boy who has no choice but to drink dirty water. Hollybrook Academy: the Academy's S4 Prince's Trust class organised a whole school sponsored walk around Pollok Park, Glasgow, raising over £1,500 for WaterAid. Geraldine Angus and Gordon Morrison: dedicated members of our Speakers Network. A big thanks to everyone who attended the ASM. If you have any queries or feedback please contact [email protected] Taking the Long Drop on World Toilet Day Scottish Water employees took fundraising to the extreme for the second year running as ten brave souls participated in the Long Drop to celebrate World Toilet Day. The event took place at the UK’s first static bungee in Killiecrankie on Garry Bridge. The participants jumped 132ft and reached speeds of up to 50mph whilst raising over £675 for WaterAid. Other fundraising activities, including bake sales, raffles and quizzes, were held throughout Scottish Water offices, raising a fantastic total of over £2,500 for WaterAid on World Toilet Day. WaterAid Scotland Quiz The WaterAid Scotland Quiz proved to be another fabulous event, taking place in Dunblane Hydro on 13 November. A total of 28 teams took part, with First People Solutions crowned as the champions. Over £14,000 was raised in support of WaterAid, and congratulations go to the members of the quiz committee for doing such a great job in their first year! WaterAid Northern Ireland Ball is a huge success The annual WaterAid Northern Ireland Ball took place on Friday 17 October in the Europa Hotel, Belfast. The event raised over £62,000 which could help provide over 4,100 people with access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid Scotland & Northern Ireland would like to thank the Northern Ireland committee for a wonderful evening and we’re already looking forward to next year’s ball! Paolo Nutini competition WaterAid Scotland supporters had the unique opportunity to win memorabilia from one of Scotland's best-loved singers, after Paolo Nutini generously donated a signed copy of his album Caustic Love. For the chance to win the album, fans simply had to name their favourite track from the album on our Facebook page. Hundreds of you entered the competition with Rachel Thomson, who named Better Man as her favourite track, the lucky winner. Paolo supported WaterAid’s Change the Record campaign last summer, which aimed to transform the lives of girls around the world by providing access to taps and toilets for everyone, everywhere by 2030. Many thanks to everyone who took part! Clyde Marine Challenge takes to the water at Largs Sailing Club The late September sunshine saw the annual Clyde Marine Challenge take place at the Largs Sailing Club. The event is an enjoyable mix of maritime skill, team building challenges and general knowledge – including a tricky quiz! Teams comprising novice and experienced sailors raced around the Firth of Clyde and Kyles of Bute. The Jacobs team swept the board; winning the Roy Hepburn Rosebowl, the Cumbraes Cup and the CIWEM Decanter for the most sponsorship, raising a fantastic £4,000 for WaterAid. A big thank you to all participants for their fantastic fundraising efforts. We look forward to next year’s event! WaterAid Scotland and VIBES launch the Ripple Effect Challenge This year, WaterAid Scotland and VIBES are setting Scottish businesses a challenge: to use their ingenuity to raise money for WaterAid in the most innovative way possible. The Ripple Effect Challenge will raise money for sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene projects around the world, where over 500,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation – over 1,400 children a day. Teams can comprise individuals, departments within companies or businesses as a whole. Entries are invited from the widest possible range of sectors and from companies both large and small. The winning team will have their inventiveness recognised at the VIBES Awards ceremony in Glasgow on 27 November, and their commitment to tackling the water and sanitation crisis will be honoured by the presentation of a uniquely designed VIBES 2014 glass trophy. The ceremony, held at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow, is also a great opportunity to network with environmentally-minded businesses in Scotland. If you missed out on the VIBES Awards 2014, this is a fantastic opportunity to still be involved and to boost your social equity. To register, please email [email protected]. You will then receive an application form and fundraising pack from WaterAid. Completed entry forms must be submitted to the same email address no later than 5pm on 20 October 2014. Visit the VIBES Awards website to find out more > WaterAid makes a splash at T in the Park 2014! This year’s T in the Park proved bigger and better than ever for WaterAid Scotland! As well as providing water for festival-goers from three different water bars, keeping everyone hydrated throughout the glorious sunny weekend, we also ran the LadyWeeWee female urinals. WaterAid Scotland volunteers also asked festival-goers to sign our Change the Record petition, to give girls around the world the chance of a better future through access to clean water and safe toilets. A big thank you goes to all of our wonderful volunteers for their hard work. We look forward to seeing you all next year! Joining forces to celebrate 50 years of independence in Malawi This July, WaterAid Scotland and the Scotland Malawi Partnership joined forces with The Tall Ship at Riverside, Glasgow, to celebrate 50 years of independence in Malawi. Between 6 and 19 July, visitors to The Tall Ship saw an unusual addition to the ship’s regalia, as it flew the Malawi flag to commemorate this special occasion and the enduring friendship and partnership between the two countries. Malawi flags were also flying at a range of locations across Scotland, and the public were encouraged to get involved by taking pictures with the flags and sharing them on social media using the hashtag #flagselfie. "WaterAid has worked in partnership with communities in Malawi since 1999 and has helped 175,000 people access safe water and 215,000 access toilets" says Helen Anderson from WaterAid Scotland. "The Tall Ship is an iconic landmark of one of Scotland’s most famous waterways, the River Clyde, and for centuries the river has been a symbol of communication and friendship between Scotland and the world." David Hope-Jones, Principal Officer for the Scotland Malawi Partnership, said: "Scotland’s relationship with Malawi is really unique. It’s not based on ‘donors’ and ‘recipients’ but on friendships motivated by mutually beneficial people-to-people, family-to-family and community-to-community links." Find out more about The Scotland Malawi Partnership > WaterAid celebrates 30 years in Northern Ireland In 2014, our supporters in Northern Ireland marked 30 years of fundraising and awareness-raising for WaterAid at their Annual Supporters Meeting. The event took place in the beautiful surroundings of the Harbour Office, Belfast, where everyone gathered to celebrate our key achievements over the years. Thank you to everyone who attended, and to the WaterAid Northern Ireland committee for organising such a wonderful event. WaterAid Scotland Golf Tournament raises £14,000 for our work in Zambia WaterAid Scotland's 2014 Golf Tournament was a huge success, raising an incredible £14,000 for our work in Zambia. Held at the Dundonald Links in Irvine, the event attracted twice as many entrants as last year, with prizes for the winning teams awarded at the post-event dinner at the Menzies Hotel. We'd like to say a huge thank you to the WaterAid Scotland Golf Committee for helping us organise such a brilliant event. Thanks also go to our fantastic volunteers and sponsors for all their support. We hope to see you all again next year! WaterAid Scotland Spring Ball raises over £86,000 WaterAid Scotland's Spring Ball, held at the Thistle Hotel Glasgow, was a resounding success. The event raised over £86,000 for our work in Zambia, on the eve of World Water Day 2014. The night started with a sparkling drinks reception, followed by welcome speeches, a delicious three course meal and outstanding entertainment from Canned Haggis, Stirling Austin and Superhouse. The night would not have been possible without all our sponsors, including Thistle Water, Amey, Barhale, George Leslie and Expanded – and of course our wonderful guests! WaterAid Northern Ireland Contractors’ Quiz raises over £9,000 Over 30 teams competed in WaterAid Northern Ireland's annual Contractors' Quiz at the Wellington Hotel this year, raising over £9,000 for our work. £1,000 of the total was raised from the event raffle, with many fabulous prizes donated by our contractors. Congratulations go to this year's crowned champions, the 'Get Your Skates On' team from Atkins Ltd. Very well done! Thanks also go to our brilliant supporters for all their help and commitment, with special thanks to our sponsors Meridian (our platinum sponsor), BSG Civil Engineering (silver sponsor) and Farrans (bronze sponsor). Photo credit: WaterAid Northern Ireland Committee.