accessibility & help

Clean Start appeal raises £6.5 million

12 August 2015

Pupils at Chebelion Primary School in Kenya's Bomet County

Millions of pounds raised by the public will bring safe water and better sanitation to 380,000 people in Kenya and Bangladesh. 


The Clean Start appeal has raised more than £6.5 million in three months. 

With the UK government matching the amount donated between 4 January and 3 April 2015, £11.5 million has been raised in total – the most money ever raised by the Red Cross for a non-emergency appeal.

Donations of cash and goods from the public worked twice as hard as usual – unlocking government funds to help the Red Cross deliver safer water, sanitation and hygiene to hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya and Bangladesh. 

After unlocking these funds, public donations will be used for Red Cross work helping people in crisis overseas where the need is greatest.

The Red Cross partnered with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, with an appeal advertisement running in 408 cinemas across the UK. SpongeBob also starred in a digital poster which was seen in 91 cinemas across the UK. The space was donated for free by DCM and Primesight, and Paramount Pictures produced the advertisement alongside the Red Cross in-house creative team. 

Thank you for your support

Mark Astarita, director of fundraising, said: 

“We are delighted that we have raised more than £6.5 million and would like to thank our generous supporters and our loyal shop customers. The money you helped us unlock from the government will provide safe water to 380,000 people in Kenya and Bangladesh. 

“Partnering with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, has given us the opportunity to reach millions more people and we would like to thank Paramount Pictures, DCM and Primesight for their valuable support. 

“We are pleased that so many people supported the appeal and over the coming months will update our supporters on the life-saving projects that they have helped to fund.”

A fantastic response

Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, said:  

"The public response to the British Red Cross Clean Start appeal has been fantastic. With the UK Government matching pound for pound both cash and goods donations, we have helped public generosity go twice as far.

“The DFiD funding will provide toilets, boreholes and water tanks for washing, drinking, cooking and cleaning, along with education in good sanitation practices. 

That will save lives and help to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. It will also ensure fewer children miss school as a result of sickness, permanently changing life for the better for hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya and Bangladesh.”

The numbers behind the Clean Start appeal 

  • 37 million people currently live without access to clean water in Kenya and Bangladesh.
  • More than 3.5 million people die needlessly each year from diseases, such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid, due to lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate toilets and poor hygiene. 
  • An average bag of donated stock was worth £25. When sold for the Clean Start appeal this became £50 which could pay for a latrine set for two families in Bangladesh. 

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