Seven am on a cold Monday morning in late November; the good folk of Manchester staggering bleary eyed into a new week. But not the case for one happy band of travellers: the Loreto Plop Choir was already on the road, heading south, for London in coach kindly provided for them by Bullocks/Finglands Coaches. Accompanied by Ms Gettings, Mr Lloyd-Mostyn and Ms Benson, the choir had an important engagement to fulfil, at a very prestigious venue: the steps of St Pauls’s Cathedral, in the heart of the capital. Loreto is proud of its long association with the Toilet Twinning campaign, and November 19 was International Toilet Day. Events were held all over the world, designed to raise awareness of the issue. Our choir had been rehearsing a special song, with well-known entertainer and musician Bill Oddie, to be performed at St Paul’s.
Thus it was that after a long trip down the motorway, Loreto hit the streets of London and joined another choir from a school in East London, together with groups of supporters, on the steps of one of the most iconic buildings in the world. It would perhaps not be in keeping with the spirit of the occasion to say that the Loreto choir stole the show – but it did! Passing tourists and office workers, at first rather bemused by the sight of a gigantic inflatable toilet balancing on the famous steps, soon gained an awareness of the message being conveyed. One of our students, Alexia Kangombe, gave an eloquent and passionate speech about the importance of toilets in developing countries. She said that she found it gratifying to note that many of our toilets at Loreto are twinned with those in her home country of Democratic Republic of Congo.
Performance over, eschewing the warmth and comfort of nearby shops and stores, our intrepid choristers trekked across the Millennium Bridge, over to the South Bank, to do a spot of busking, and raise further funds for the cause. A six-hour journey home then ensued, with everyone maintaining an amazingly high level of energy and enthusiasm, before the coach rolled into Hulme at 11.00pm. Ms Gettings, Mr Lloyd-Mostyn and Ms Benson were immensely proud of our students, one of whom, Lydia Benaicha, reflected thus:
‘Going to London to support Toilet Twinning, which is such a great cause and one I’m grateful to be part of, was amazing. The performance was great and there was a beautiful vibe of unity in the air. As a person who enjoys fighting for change in the world, it was an experience that I truly valued, and always will.’
Fellow student Ariale Luviluka observed that:
‘Having the opportunity to take part in something that has such a direct impact on people was amazing. Just giving up my time to sing is going to help towards changing the life of someone forever, and everyone can share the same satisfaction I feel by just donating to this wonderful cause.’
Ms Gettings is keen to point out that anyone who would like to make a contribution to the Toilet Twinning cause can do so by going to: