VILLAGERS in Levens are helping to flush away poverty by twinning 11 loos - including "the smallest room" at MP Tim Farron's constituency office.

Parishioners at St John's Church have been raising money to pay for the toilet twinning packages, which cost £60 each and give impoverished people access to a proper latrine and a standpipe for clean drinking water.

The charity Toilet Twinning is hoping to transform the lives of 2.3 billion people around the world who have nowhere safe or dignified to go to the toilet.

So far, the team at St John's has presented twinning packages to its own church as well as Levens Methodist Chapel, Christ the King RC Church in Milnthorpe and Levens Institute; plus two each for the ladies' and gents' at Levens Hall and the Hare and Hounds pub in Levens. Each now has a certificate with a colour photo of its twin and GPS coordinates to locate it on Google Maps.

Lay minister Pam Martin, of St John's Church, said: "That relatively small sum of £60 which most of us would spend on a family meal out, or a week's shopping, or clothes for the kids, would keep a whole community safe from waterborne disease and provide proper health education too. It is a humblingly small amount for such a life-changing effect for so many people."

In 2017 an Eco Church Gold Award was bestowed on St John's to recognise the congregation's "caring for God's creation". Mrs Martin said the toilet twinning project tied in with this, as well as the "Christian duty to embrace social justice issues, to love one's neighbour and support the poor".

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Mr Farron was presented with his twinning pack at PV Dobson & Sons car dealership near Levens, where the male and female customer conveniences are also being twinned. Hopes are now high that Levens will become an official Toilet Twinned Village.

The MP said: "It’s crazy to think around one in three people in the world don’t have access to somewhere safe and hygienic to go to the toilet.

"Toilet twinning is a really great thing to do and shows just how compassionate the people in this village are."

The charity Toilet Twinning funds the work of international relief and development agency Tearfund. The £60 donations pay for clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene education. For more, visit