A local company aims to build 100 toilets in Africa this year and is asking its customers – and other local businesses – to help it reach its target.
Caledonia Washroom Services, which has been helped by Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, has partnered with Toilet Twinning, a charity that provides the poorest people in the world with a decent toilet.
With a single toilet costing just £60 and a school block £240, the Powmill-based specialist in washroom and children’s hygiene has launched a scheme that offers its 600 clients the chance to voluntarily add a £5 donation to their monthly bill to help build toilets in Malawi.
Iain Stewart, Managing Director, said: “We’ve decided to support Toilet Twinning’s essential work, not only because we work in the hygiene industry but because one in three people across the world don’t have access to a safe toilet and poor sanitation is one of the world’s biggest killers. By building the donation into our contracts it allows our customers to make a real difference to people’s lives by paying a small sum each month.
“Our aim is to build 100 toilets this year but, ultimately, we hope to build enough toilets in one area of Malawi so that we can go and visit the local communities where they are built to see first-hand the positive impact having access to something as basic as a toilet has had. We hope our customers will sign up to our scheme, and we’d be delighted to speak to other local companies wanting to find out more.”
Having travelled the world working for a leading drinks manufacturer, Iain joined a global hygiene company in 2002 and spotted a gap in the market for a specialist washroom and children’s hygiene company.
Eight years on, Caledonia Washrooms works throughout the whole of Scotland and counts the European Golf Tour, Balmoral Estate, St Andrews University and Wildlife and Wetland Trust as clients. Now, Iain is working with Business Gateway Clackmannanshire to help him grow the business further.
He said: “People may think toilets are a weird thing to be passionate about but they’re essential to our day-to-day lives. When a customer comes to us with a serious problem and we fix it I feel proud to be delivering such an essential service. Turning to Business Gateway earlier this year was very useful. When you run your own business you can often become a bit stagnant. My adviser helped me focus on what I needed to do to continue to grow, including helping me access funding to upgrade www.caledoniawashrooms.com. She is now looking to pair me with a business coach who will work with me to put processes in place to manage future growth.”
Dorothy Henke, Business Gateway, said: “Toilet Twinning was the perfect charity for Iain’s company to partner because they both strive to provide people with access to safe, clean toilets and work hard to educate young and old about toilet hygiene. Accessing our services has helped Iain take a step back and assess where he wants his business to go. Help with the website allowed him to make the site more functional, and we’ve signposted him to Skills Development Scotland to investigate apprenticeship opportunities. We also hope to team him up with a business mentor and have highlighted other potential funding.”
To find out how Business Gateway Clackmannanshire can help your business call 01259 208426 or visit www.bgateway.com/clackmannanshire.