Earthworks launches £20K crowdfund campaign for new water-conserving toilets

Earthworks has launched a £20K fundraising initiative.

Earthworks has launched a £20K fundraising initiative. - Credit: Archant

St Albans charity Earthworks has launched a reward-based, six week crowdfund initiative to finance the urgent build of accessible, water-conserving toilets in their eco-gardens.

Now in its 25th year, the charity supports people with learning disabilities – known as Earthworkers – to manage 3.5 acres of eco-gardens on the edge of St Albans in Hixberry Lane.

Over many years their onsite compost toilets have deteriorated, which has an impact on Earthworkers.

Earthworks joint project leader Steve Pike explained: “Many of our Earthworkers have autistic spectrum disorder or other sensory needs, which affects the way people experience the world. As a result, for many Earthworkers the experience of using our toilets is difficult.”

The £20,000 project features a water conservation system to collect rainwater from Earthworks’ roofs to fill the new toilet cisterns. Conserving water is vitally important in water-stressed Herts, where rainfall is low but rate of water use per person is one of the highest in the UK at 152 litres per person. A rainwater collection, storage and pump system will ensure Earthworks toilets continue to have minimal environmental impact for years to come.

In return for donations, Earthworks’ crowdfund is offering exclusive rewards, such as an Earthworks tote bag, a place on the wall of thanks, an exclusive Earthworks cream tea, or a Pike Photography family portrait session in the eco-gardens, tickets to the Polar Bear Plunge or a Willow Wreath Workshop. Arsenal tickets and dinner for two at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks are also up for grabs in prize draws.

Corporates are offered the chance of a team-building day in the eco-gardens, in-house talk by Earthworks, or a visit from Earthworks on Wheels. The crowdfund ends on 16 April. If rewards need to be postponed due to coronavirus, don’t worry - they will be honoured.

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Joint project leader Bianca Badham added: “Accessible facilities would help our beautiful site to flourish with new people, community and sustainable income. In our 25th anniversary year, please help us continue to be a compassionate, happy place for people of all abilities.

“Fundraising in the current climate is not easy but we still very much need our community’s support.”