Wareham woman’s kindness transforms wool into water…in the shape of tea cosies sold for WaterAid!

Posted by
Kirstin Gentleman
on
10 February 2021
Mary Hatcher

Long-term supporter of the charity WaterAid, Mary Hatcher, has been busy during the lockdowns, knitting adorable animal-shaped tea-cosies and baking fruit crumbles to raise a smile with her friends and neighbours, and in the process raising £200 for the millions of people around the world who don’t have clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

Mary, aged 70, a former librarian who lives in Dorset, has gone above and beyond the call of duty, by raising money through her kind gestures, making tea cosies in the shape of mice with her friends, giving them names like Horace, Brenda and Alphonso. 

She’s been a loyal WaterAid supporter for over a decade, and said she felt inspired to find new ways to raise extra money after hearing about the charity’s Future on Tap winter appeal, which finished earlier this month.  Mary was particularly pleased to hear that her efforts would be well worth it, as all public donations to the charity’s appeal were matched by the UK government, up to £2 million, to make double the difference in climate-vulnerable communities.

Explaining her passion for WaterAid, Mary said:

“I feel it’s immoral that not everyone has clean water to drink. I’m very fortunate that I can turn on a tap whenever I like, whereas many women and children around the world are walking several miles to collect water, which might not even be clean. It’s sad that this activity prevents children from going to school either because they have to help fetch water, or because that very water might make them ill.

“I have knitted animal tea cosies using my favourite patterns by Fiona Goble. I really enjoyed making these, a great activity during lockdown. My friends joined in by making donations and giving their tea cosies names and characters!

“I’ve also made dozens of fruit crumbles, mainly from a friend's windfall apples, and have sold those to raise more money too – it all helps.”

The money raised through WaterAid’s appeal will help communities across the world, including families in Frat, Ethiopia, who spend hours each day collecting water from a river which is so dirty it causes sickness. Some water sources are depleting over time, while the hotter summers and unexpected storms are destroying crops, their only source of income. 

With clean water, families can meet their basic needs, stay safe and healthy, have time to go to school or work, and can grow food even when the weather is unpredictable.

For the people of Frat, helping each other is a way of life, described in their word ‘wenfell’ meaning ‘collaboration’. This is demonstrated in their sharing of knowledge and resources, collecting money for families in need, and giving people water when they are unable to go to the river to get it

Mary said:

“I’m pleased to discover that the concept of helping each other has its own word in Frat: 'wenfell'. The ideas of kindness and working together are just as strong here in Wareham as they are in Ethiopia!”

WaterAid is working to bring clean water to many communities like Frat, helping protect lives and livelihoods. With clean water, families can meet their basic needs, stay safe and healthy, have time to go to school or work, and can grow food even when the weather is unpredictable.

Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive, WaterAid, said:

“This year many of us have found strength and solidarity in the communities around us and this is a way of life in the community of Frat. Their daily challenges include finding clean water but the community is built on an ethos of pulling together to help each other through times of need, which is inspiring. This winter by supporting the Future on Tap appeal the WaterAid community will stand with the people of Frat and help bring clean water, toilets and hygiene that transforms lives.”

Find out more at www.wateraid.org.

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Martin, Senior Media Officer, [email protected]. Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected]

WaterAid

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 26.4 million people with clean water and 26.3 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org/uk, follow @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid.

  • 785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.[1]
  • 2 billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]
  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]
  • Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5]

[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[3] Prüss-Ustün et al. (2014) and The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2018)

[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage

[5] www.wateraid.org