′On the ball′ to save lives

Simon Pryde in the desert


Kind hearted people from across the region have helped to save more than 1370 lives in the developing world by giving them access to basic human rights.

Here′s a video link to find out how people can support next year′s Northumbrian WaterAid ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNiEpJlXwzI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Northumbrian Water’s adopted international charity, WaterAid, saves lives in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and central America by providing people with a tap, toilet and hygiene education.

The water company has supported the charity since 1981 and raises awareness and vital funds through a range of events. The Northumbrian WaterAid Ball, which was held last month raised £17,200 which will save 1146 lives. Money was raised through table sales, a raffle and a silent auction.

The glittering ‘movie magic’ themed event, held last month at the Gosforth Marriott Hotel in Newcastle, was attended by 300 people from across the region, including a very special guest, BBC Total Sport presenter, Simon Pryde.

The radio presenter swapped his studio in Newcastle for the searing heat of the Sahara desert to raise money for two charities close to his heart – WaterAid and the Alzheimer’s Scoiety.

Simon, who is 40, ran 155 miles over six days in temperatures that reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit as part of the Marathon de Sables. His admirable completion of the toughest foot race on the earth has raised a total of £6,900 (£3,450 donated to each charity).

Simon, who was born in Berwick upon Tweed and now lives in Sandyford, Newcastle said: "It is totally unacceptable that 768 million people in the world don’t have access to safe water and 2.5 billion don’t have a toilet. I am so proud that I will help to save 230 lives – it only costs £15 to give people hope and a future by providing them with things that we in the North East take for granted, every day. WaterAid is a fantastic charity.

"My Granny Audrey passed away with Alzheimer’s disease in the 1990s, so I have a good understanding and appreciation of how this illness affects people and their nearest and dearest. Again, I am proud that I am able to support a charity that supports people like my Granny."

Andrew Blakemore, Northumbrian WaterAid Chairman, said: "I would like to thank Simon, our Northumbrian WaterAid partners and everyone else who helps us to support this wonderful charity. I am overwhelmed by peoples’ kindness and in Simon’s case, his strength and determination to help others by doing such a gruelling challenge.

"I have seen the work of WaterAid first hand in Malawi and know what a great job they do and the huge difference they make to peoples’ lives. It’s not only about clean water, sanitation and hygiene education – a tap, toilet and effective hygiene stops children dying, enables them to go to school instead of having to spend their precious young lives collecting water and protects peoples’ dignity."

Liz Monks, Director of Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘We are so grateful to Simon for giving up his time and taking on such an epic adventure to raise money for people with dementia and their carers. One in three people over 65 will develop dementia. It is caused by diseases of the brain and can happen to anyone. As a charity, we rely on the generosity of individuals like Simon to help us continue our vital work.′

Northumbrian Water would like to thank their Northumbrian WaterAid partners who support events and help to raise tens of thousands of pounds every year. They include Fastflow Pipeline Utilities, JN Bentley Limited, Gowland and Dawson Limited,Esh Construction Limited and Northumbrian Water.

To find out more about WaterAid log onto www.wateraid.org.uk. If you are interested in getting involved or supporting Northumbrian WaterAid′s events follow them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/NorthumbrianWaterAid.

Contact Alzheimer Society′s National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 or visit alzheimers.org.uk

For further information contact Cara Charlton, Northumbrian Water, on 0191 301 6720.

Some harrowing WaterAid statistics:

o 768 million people live without access to safe water, around 11% of the world′s population.
o 2.5 billion people live without access to sanitation, around 35% of the world′s population.
o 1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation - 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.
o Diarrhoea kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
o Children living in households with no toilet are twice as likely to get diarrhoea as those with a toilet.
o Every year, around 60 million children in the developing world are born into households without access to sanitation.
o One gram of human faeces can contain 10,000,000 viruses, 1,000,000 bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts, 100 parasite eggs.
o Half the hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from diseases associated with poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
o 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.
o 97.5% of the earth′s water is saltwater. If the world′s water fitted into a bucket, only one teaspoonful would be drinkable.

Alzheimer’s Society facts:

o One in three people over 65 will develop dementia.
o Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 800,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than ten years a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051.
o Alzheimer’s Society champions the rights of people living with dementia and the millions of people who care for them.
o Alzheimer’s Society works in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
o Alzheimer’s Society has a plan to deal with dementia. Help us support people to live well today and fight for a world without dementia tomorrow. We rely on voluntary donations to continue our vital work. You can donate now by calling 0845 306 0898 or visiting alzheimers.org.uk

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