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Support a charity – it makes a big difference

22 May 2008

Trevor Forecast, Master Innholder and former proprietor of Congham Hall in Norfolk, urges hospitality professionals to support a charity helping to fund water well-building in Africa

Retirement brings more time to get involved in your favourite charities and, just occasionally, you hear about something that's really different and catches your imagination. In 2004 Duncan Goose quit his full-time job in marketing and PR to launch a not-for-profit bottled water which gave all its surplus to fund a water well-building programme in Africa.

This is a vitally important campaign: a billion people around the world do not have access to clean water and children in Africa were walking up to five hours a day, every day, for a bucket of water.

Goose found a company in Wales to produce the water and a company in Africa making kids' roundabouts that could be used to pump up water from underground. His idea was to put a play-pump water station near a school. The children played, produced water for the village and suddenly the children had time to go to school and the mothers had time to look after them.

In just four years, Goose has grown his business to £2.5m turnover. It has supplied 140 play-pumps to villages in Africa, complete with supporting organisations' logos on them.

You'll find One Water in supermarkets and many other outlets in the UK and there's a complete distribution network through our usual suppliers.

I remember how many discussions we had in Pride of Britain on which water supplier we should use. Apart from price and delivery, the Welsh members wanted Welsh water, the Scots wanted Scottish water and we all had our favourites.

But we never had a story like this - water was water. To be able to tell this story at the dinner table while drinking bottled water is really different. It can, of course, be sold alongside your "specified" water.

Spare a moment to look at one of the video reports on the website (www.onedifference.org.uk) and you'll see why it inspired me to write this. Please, buy One and make a difference.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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