accessibility & help

British Red Cross launches Clean Start Appeal

5 January 2015

British Red Cross launches Clean Start Appeal to help deliver safe water to 380,000 people

The UK government will match public donations, and the sale of donated stock to Red Cross shops, from January 4 to April 3

The British Red Cross has launched the Clean Start Appeal (Monday 5 January) to raise money to deliver clean water and safe sanitation to 380,000 people. The charity is asking people to bring in a bag of unwanted good-quality goods to one of its stores or give cash before 3 April for their donation  to be matched by the government*.


This appeal is different because donations from the public will work twice as hard by helping us to unlock government funds to go directly towards safe water for communities in Kenya and Bangladesh. After unlocking these funds, public donations will be used for our work helping people in crisis overseas where the need is greatest.


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. The Clean Start Appeal is raising money to help 380,000 people in Kenya and Bangladesh, where 37 million people currently live without access to clean water.


British Red Cross chief executive, Mike Adamson, said: This New Year the British Red Cross is asking you to give someone else a clean start by bringing a bag of goods to your local Red Cross shop or donating to our Clean Start Appeal. Perhaps you have a couple of unwanted Christmas presents, or you want to have a clear out, whatever the reason, we can turn your goods and clothes into cash which will be matched by the government until April 3. We need your help to bring clean water to people who desperately need it. Please support our Clean Start Appeal and we can double the difference you make by supporting our lifesaving work overseas which includes preparing communities for disaster and tackling hunger and food insecurity.”


An average bag of donated stock is worth £25 and when sold for the Clean Start Appeal becomes £50 which could pay for a latrine set for two families in Bangladesh. The Red Cross is aiming to raise at least £5 million through the appeal.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “More than one in six people worldwide lack access to safe water and billions live without basic sanitation. It is a sad and eye-opening reality that every 20 seconds a child dies as the result of poor hygiene practices.


“By matching public donations to the British Red Cross’s appeal we will give impoverished communities in Kenya and Bangladesh improved water and sanitation access.


“This will provide nearly 400,000 people with life-saving support by introducing water points and toilets for schools and households, as well as education in good sanitation practices.”


The Red Cross has 340 shops nationwide – to find your nearest shop, to donate, or to find out more about the appeal visit




Notes to editors

Caveats for cash and stock donations made by the UK public.

From the sale of goods donated from 4 January to 3 April 2015, up to a maximum of £5 million. Goods must be sold by 18 April 2015. The sale of donated goods will help fund our work overseas. For every pound we make from the sale of donated goods the government will give another pound to provide safe water for people in Kenya and Bangladesh. Any sales after this time cannot be matched by the government but will be used for our work to help people in crisis. 


All public donations made to the Clean Start Appeal from 4 January to 3 April 2015 will be doubled by the UK government up to £5 million. Your donation to Clean Start will help fund our work overseas. For every pound you give the government will give another pound to provide safe water for people in Kenya and Bangladesh. Any donations banked after 3 April cannot be matched but will be used to support our overseas work. Under Gift Aid we can claim an extra 25p of tax for every £1 donated. Gift Aid income cannot be matched. For more information please visit


UK Aid Match was set up by the UK government's Department for International Development

(DFID) to give a boost to public support for charities working in the developing world. It doubles public donations to appeals run by British international development charities, in

recognition of both the public’s generosity and the wide range of causes they support.