UWE Bristol awards Honorary Degree to Katie Alcott

Issue date: 18 July 2013


Katie Alcott

UWE Bristol is awarding the Honorary Degree of Master of Business Administration to Katie Alcott in recognition of her pioneering work in setting up a social enterprise and registered charity to fund life-saving clean drinking water projects.

The honorary degree will be conferred at the Award Ceremony of the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education on Wednesday 24 July at 14.00 at Bristol Cathedral.

Born in Worcester in 1978, Katie grew up on the family farm in Herefordshire with her parents and three siblings. Educated at Hillside and Lawnside Schools in Malvern, she moved to Hereford Cathedral School to take GCSEs and A levels.

A talented artist, Katie chose to undertake a degree in Fine Art at UWE's Bower Ashton campus.

Katie has always had an interest in international issues, specifically related to access to drinking water, initially sparked on a trip to India before starting her degree at UWE. Katie suffered amoebic dysentery while teaching at a community school in Kashmir, Northern India. This led her to investigate how poor water quality affected the local communities, an experience which would later inspire her business.

When studying for her degree, Katie travelled to several other developing nations where she noted the drinking water conditions and their effects, whilst photographing and collecting inspiration for her degree work.

In 2005, having moved back to Bristol, Katie founded FRANK Water, a social enterprise. Based on the concept of water for water, she sold her own ethical brand of bottled water to local bars and restaurants and donated the profits to clean water projects. In 2007, she established FRANK Water Projects, a registered charity that could receive direct donations. To date, FRANK Water has funded 96 clean water projects, providing access to sustainable, safe water to over quarter of a million people in rural India.

Bristol-based FRANK Water now has a team of five staff and over 40 dedicated volunteers, many of whom are involved in the innovative 'FreeFill' initiative which has been developed as a more sustainable drinking water solution for the UK festival market.

Katie has won numerous local and national entrepreneurship awards, and now balances her time between the trading arm (UK sales of bottled water and FreeFill) and the registered charity

UWE has been a firm supporter of Katie as an alumna, and of FRANK Water, stocking the bottled water, providing publicity and funding. Katie recently moved back to Herefordshire where she lives with her husband Tom and three children Amelia, Reuben and Elodie.

Photo of Katie Alcott available upon request from the PressOffice@uwe.ac.uk

Back to top