Derbyshire charity urges people to give the gift of life this Christmas

A Cromford charity is urging people to give the gift of life this Christmas – by helping families in disaster hit countries.

By Andrew Wakefield
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 11:10 am
Aquabox donations being unpacked in Yemen.

The Aquabox Clean Water for Christmas campaign aims to provide millions of litres of safe, clean water to families in need around the world.

Clean Water for Christmas is a simple idea: instead of sending a present to a friend or relative, you sponsor an Aquabox water filter in their name – and Aquabox sends you a certificate recording the gift, for you to present to them.

Despite the pandemic, Aquabox has continued to assemble water filters at its depot on The Hill, Cromford, and send them to people living in disaster zones and refugee camps all over the globe.

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In total, this year the charity has sent more than 1,500 filters to places like Belize, Lebanon, Yemen, Senegal, Nepal, Gaza and Haiti. Together, those filters will provide clean, safe water for around 300,000 people.

“We couldn’t have done any of this without our supporters and donors,” said Aquabox trustee Kevin Barclay. “The aid we have sent this year has cost us more than £160,000 – and we don’t get any government funding, so every penny of that came from donations.”

Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns have hindered the Aquabox effort, but the disasters have continued unabated.

“And that’s why we’re asking for your support again,” said Kevin. “A family filter costs us around £25 – that’s just the cost of the component parts, because all the filter assembly teams are unpaid volunteers.

"But that £25 filter has the capacity to deliver up to half a million litres of clean, safe water. We’re hoping that more people will take part in the Clean Water for Christmas campaign this year by sponsoring a filter; perhaps by sending it as a gift at Christmas.”

Aquabox has more than 70 volunteers who assemble and test the family filters and pack them into blue Aquaboxes with over 70 items of humanitarian aid, in preparation for the next natural or man-made disaster.

To read more about the Clean Water for Christmas campaign, and to make a donation, go to the Aquabox justgiving site: www.justgiving.com/campaign/cleanwaterforChristmas2021