Pants to world water poverty

01.07.2009

TV Apprentice Philip Taylor will take part in the Great North Run as part of a 100-strong team raising money for the international charity WaterAid.

Philip, aged 29, from West Cornforth, County Durham, made a name for himself going head to head with millionaire businessman Sir Alan Sugar on the hit TV show.

His appearance has earned him the nickname of ‘Pantsman’ as one of his ideas to sell cereal to children was to create and advertise a superhero character and get youngsters to follow his lead and wear pants on top of their trousers.

Philip has volunteered to tackle Tyneside’s famous half marathon on September 20 in costume dressed as his superhero.

Reporters and photographers are invited to meet Philip as he models his costume in BALTIC Square, Gateshead, at 2.30pm on Friday 3 July.

WaterAid is the adopted international charity of Northumbrian Water which works to give people in the developing world access to clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education.

Philip said: “We can all take clean water and safe toilets for granted but sadly that is not the case for more than two billion people in the world – that’s a great reason to put ‘Pantsman’ into action to raise money for this good cause in the Great North Run.

“I’m already pretty fit and running five or six miles at a time so although I will need to keep up the training I’m confident of completing the distance and crossing the finishing line in a good time.”

People able to sponsor Philip and the WaterAid team can pledge on-line through www.wateraid.org/greatnorthrun or www.philip-taylor.com

Alistair Baker, for WaterAid Northumbria, said: “It’s great having someone like Philip volunteer for our running team to help raise the profile of the charity. Water is vital for life and it’s criminal that everyone in the world hasn’t got access to that basic right.
“The work of WaterAid is also about providing safe toilets so its even more fitting that Philip as his superhero is helping us say ‘pants to world water poverty!”

For further information and arrange an interview with Philip contact: Alistair Baker, communications and pr manager, Northumbrian Water 0191-301-6851 or mobile 07711-793-493. 

WaterAid facts

# 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world′s population.
# 2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation, this is almost two fifths of the world′s population.
# 1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. That is 4,000 child deaths a day or one child every 20 seconds. This equates to 160 infant school classrooms lost every single day to an entirely preventable public health crisis.
# WaterAid projects provide permanent safe water, sanitation and hygiene education costing just £15 per head.
# Hand-washing with soap at critical times can reduce the incidence of diarrhoea by up to 47%.
# The integrated approach of providing water, sanitation and hygiene reduces the number of deaths caused by diarrhoeal diseases by an average of 65%.
# The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is commonly 20kg, the same as the average UK airport luggage allowance.
# In the UK the expansion of water and sanitation infrastructure in the 1880s contributed to a 15 year increase in life expectancy in the following four decades.

WaterAid is a leading independent organisation that enables the world′s poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. These basic human rights underpin health, education and livelihoods and form the first, essential step in overcoming poverty.

WaterAid also campaign globally with partners to realise its vision of a world where everyone has access to these basic human rights.

WaterAid works in 17 of the world′s poorest countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. These countries are Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in Africa; Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan in Asia; and Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste in the Pacific.

To date WaterAid has helped more than 12 million people gain access to improved Water supplies. In 2007/8 WaterAid and its partners helped more than 1.3million people gain access to safe water and over three million people gain access to sanitation.

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