Our History

1996 Andrew Barrs and David Crosweller met through a mutual acquaintance who was taking aid to Eastern Europe. Both had a personal history of charitable service and were moved by the plight of the children in a place called Turnegor, on the outskirts of Chernobyl. Feeling inspired they decided to start a charity, (1997 Wherever the Need was born).

1997 The charity starts taking aid out to the Balkans to help relieve the suffering of people displaced in the conflicts.

2000 Wherever the Need is made aware of the plight of children affected by AIDS in Africa and mobilises its resources to assist them.

2005 Asian Tsunami. Wherever the Need provided emergency aid to Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, India. This was a defining time for the charity, with the realisation and strong belief that the most essential prerequisite to escape poverty, is good basic health and the single greatest contributor to this is good sanitation and clean water. It’s these areas therefore that the charity concentrates.

2005 We constructed our first ‘ecosan’ toilet, promoting sustainable sanitation as the foundation of our projects.

2005 Wherever the Need continues to work in Tamil Nadu India, now primarily on sanitation and water projects.

2006 Wherever the Need responds to a request for help from a community in the rural district of Pujehun, Sierra Leone. To date we have provided sanitation and clean water to over 17,000 people.

2006 Ecosan toilets and wells were installed in Gbongay village (population 850), Pujehun district, Sierra Leone. Since the installation of ecosan toilets and wells in Gbongay, not one child has died because of poor sanitation and/or dirty water. Ramatu a mother of one from Gbongay, shares her story.

2013 Louise Kirby-Garton joins the team as Chief Executive

2014 Wherever the Need launches Ebola appeal, providing emergency supplies of tapped water containers, soap and disinfectant, whilst raising awareness of the symptoms of Ebola and prevention methods.

2016 The focus becomes sanitation and Wherever the Need changes its name to ‘Sanitation First’ The charity is now the largest provider of ecosan toilets in India and Sierra Leone.