Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Launching the Queue in London

Tom Baker
Tearfund
Tom works for Tearfund, an End Water Poverty member, and is helping to organise an event for the World's Longest Toilet Queue on 22nd March in London. See how his plans develop here, and get involved too...

Fortunately London isn't short of great locations to serve as a backdrop for the UK's contribution to the Worlds Longest Toilet Queue, and at the moment, the group planning the event in the capital are salivating at the possibilities.

Should we hold it on Tower Bridge, in the shadow of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, outside Buckingham Palace (perhaps we could persuade the Queen to join the queue) or in Trafalgar Square with Lord Nelson on top of his column looking down on us?

We're negotiating with various authorities about the location, but whatever happens, we're going to do our best to try to win a prize of the best backdrop for a toilet queue! But what's in the background isn't the only thing that matters. We've also set a number of other objectives, here are two explained:

1 - It needs to have a political impact

With 2.5 billion people still waiting for the loo, we need to ensure our message reaches those who have the power to do something about it.

The 22nd is a Monday, and it isn't a great day to reach UK politicians, with many MPs still in their constituencies, so we need to be extra creative in coming up with way of ensuring they get the message. Add to the mix that it's likely we'll have a general election soon after the queue, so many politicians will be focused on getting re-elected.


But these are just obstacles to overcome and as a group we're determined to ensure that those representing the government at the High-Level Meeting in Washington are clear what the UK public want to see: Action on taps and toilets.

2 - We want to get our message out.

People directly taking part are important, but so are the thousands we plan to reach through the media.

Getting the attention of the UK media is notoriously difficult, and we know on 22nd March we're going to have to compete with a whole host of other stories, from celebrity arguments to political announcements. We're undeterred.


We're busy brainstorming ideas to come up with that 'special something' that will captivate the photographers and TV cameras, ensuring that our queue makes the headlines. Got any tips? Share them here...

5 comments:

Andy said...

Get a queue to include lots of babies and toddlers who arent potty trained. "These kids have a future on the loo, billions of others round the world won't have that pleasure."

Coordinate a nationwide simultaneous flush.

Can't think of anything else right now.

Claire said...

How about one of London's amazing old water pumping stations? Not as easily recognisable but does have link to water and sanitation?

Tom Baker said...

Thanks for the great suggestions.

Hope to see you at the London queue.

Mark from Sandbach said...

Hi Tom,

What about a Toilet queue at Waterloo Station? Its all in the name!

Serena O'Sullivan said...

Ha, Waterloo, brilliant! Having a meeting about the London Queue this week everyone - will keep you updated! Serena, End Water Poverty