Our 11 top moments of 2014 (and they’re all thanks to you)

When it comes to getting clean water and safe toilets to the world’s poorest communities, you always go the extra mile. Here are some of our most memorable moments from 2014.


16 Dec 2014 | UK

1. Swapping woodwind for water glasses

We welcomed 2014 with some musical magic, as the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra swapped their instruments for glasses of water and gave London's commuters an exclusive performance on the banks of the River Thames.

2. Making waves on World Water Day

From comedian Simon Pegg to JLS star Oritsé Williams and actor Joanna Lumley, the stars were lining up to add their 'watergraphs' to our giant interactive waterfall on World Water Day, to raise awareness of the one in ten people who still lack access to safe, clean water.

Simon Pegg's watergraph for WaterAid
Simon Pegg's Watergraph on World Water Day.
Photographer credit: WaterAid/James McCauley

3. Tackling some of the world's toughest taboos

When two teenage girls were raped and murdered in India while looking for a discreet place to relieve themselves, the world took notice – and you took action to highlight why toilets are so important for women and girls, signing our petition to make sure everyone, everywhere has a safe, private place to go to the loo.

Kajal and Sarita walk back from an open defecation area of the village. Nihura Basti, Kanpur, India, 2014.
Around the world, 526 million women and girls have no choice but to suffer the indignity of defecating in the open - like Kajal and Surita, who live in Kanpur, India.
Photographer credit: WaterAid/Poulomi Basu

4. Changing the Record at Glastonbury

If there's one event that holds a special place in our hearts, it's Glastonbury – and 2014 was no exception. From our fantastic volunteers to the 38,125 of you who signed our Change the Record petition, you showed us why we love being on Worthy Farm, whatever the weather.

5. Braving the Ice Bucket Challenge

It might make you shiver thinking about it now, but back in the sunny days of summer, thousands of you took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge for WaterAid. For some people that meant braving the bucket and dousing themselves in freezing cold water, while for others it was all about doing something creative to avoid wasting water. However you decided to take part, there was only one way we could say thank you:

6. Spotting that water bottle blooper

The stars of Downton Abbey showed what great sports they are after eagle-eyed fans spotted a plastic water bottle in the background of an official photograph of The Earl and Lady Edith. In response, the cast posed for this photograph for WaterAid, helping to raise awareness of the global water crisis and our work in the world's poorest communities:

The cast of Downton Abbey

7. Changing what it means to be a girl

This summer, we told the story of what it means to be a girl around the world, and what happens when you don't have access to clean water and safe toilets.Your generosity not only meant we raised enough money to transform 250,000 girls' lives around the world, surpassing all our expectations, it also ensured more communities will experience a moment like this:

8. Enjoying some wee one-liners

If there's one day when we can make the most of some good old-fashioned British toilet humour, it's World Toilet Day – and this year, 15 potty-mouthed comedians joined in the fun. They competed in our It's no joke! competition to find the nation's favourite toilet joke, with Bec Hill winning the coveted golden loo seat for this farting funny:

9. Finding more reasons to say Wahoo!

Every time someone sets up a personal page on Wahoo, we can't help but celebrate along with them – because instead of getting presents on their special day, they're asking for the best gift of all: to get clean, safe water to the people who need it most.

10. Getting the 0.7% aid bill enshrined in law

You made sure we said goodbye to 2014 in incredible style by getting your MPs to #TurnUpSaveLives and vote in favour of the 0.7% bill on international aid. The bill is now well on its way to becoming law, safeguarding the UK's promises to the world's poorest people. With such an amazing success behind us, just imagine what we can achieve together in 2015!

11. Reaching two, three and four million people

In 2014 you helped us reach two million people with clean water, three million people with safe toilets and four million people with hygiene promotion. It's an incredible achievement, and one that's already transforming communities around the world. Thank you!

Children pass a bucket of water along the line in Madagascar.
Pupils in Madagascar pass water along the line as construction gets underway at their school. Thanks to people like you, they'll have access to clean water and safe toilets for the very first time.
Photographer credit: WaterAid/Ernest Randriarimalala