UWE graduate brings ethical water home

Issue date: 27 April 2009

UWE Graduate Katie Alcott, founder of Frank Water UWE Fine Arts graduate Katie Alcott set up the charity FRANK Water http://www.FrankWaterProjects.org in 2005 to supply water purification projects in some of the world's neediest places. Now the University of the West of England, local water supplier Glastonbury Spring Water and FRANK Water have come together to form a unique partnership.

On 30 April two new water coolers will be opened on the Frenchay Campus, the use of which will provide funds to help develop safe water projects to some of the world's poorest people.

The new water coolers will be installed in the Hospitality and Catering meeting rooms. For the University the step is a significant one.
Hospitality Services Manager, Jayne Seymour, said, “This is a very exciting development. We already sell 40 thousand bottles of Frank Water a year, but this marks the start of a new ethical partnership which supports local businesses and is also more environmentally friendly. We hope this partnership will continue to grow and we'll see more water coolers like this throughout the campus.”

The water coolers are supplied by Glastonbury Spring Water and under the scheme the provision of the coolers, and every refill thereafter, will provide a fixed financial donation to FRANK Water.

Glastonbury Spring Water uses water that rises naturally from beneath Glastonbury Tor at George's Spring. Company Sales Manager, David Lem spoke of the important relationship which has been established with FRANK. He said, “It's a shocking fact that five thousand children die each day due to a lack of clean water. We are delighted to be supporting Frank by supplying a special Frank water cooler service. For every order we're donating money that makes a real difference.”

FRANK Water was set up by UWE graduate, Katie Alcott. She suffered amoebic dysentery after drinking dirty water herself and on returning home she dreamt of the Water-for-Water concept: selling bottled water in the UK and using 100% of the profits to set up sustainable clean water projects.

To date FRANK has funded the installation of 15 projects in Andhra Pradesh, India, with more due to open this month. The projects use the latest technology: 5-filter, ultra violet and reverse osmosis techniques. Using this technology means there will be clean water long into the future, rather than relying on bore well water which could well become contaminated once it has been opened up.

Katie has won a number of prizes for her entrepreneurship including the Grazia O2x Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2007 and is grateful for the continued support from the UWE Enterprise team. She said, “Partnerships are at the heart of what we have achieved at FRANK and I'm delighted to be working with UWE and Glastonbury Spring Water again on this project. I'm also grateful for the fantastic support I received from the UWE Enterprise team in getting our name recognised and their help in getting the initial contract with Hospitality Services at UWE.”

To learn more about Enterprise and Innovation at UWE, visit the Ideas Factory website
Ideas Factory website

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