WCoP to welcome Save the Children at annual lecture 2024

 The Worshipful Company of Plumbers (WCoP) announces Gareth Owen OBE, Humanitarian Director at Save the Children UK, as guest speaker at The Plumbers’ 39th Annual Lecture which will take place on 13 May 2024.

The session will discuss how critical a clean water supply and effective sanitation has been in humanitarian crises globally and, therefore, why WaterSafe accreditation is crucial to plumbing professionals. Gareth will discuss:

  • how expert staff are sourced and fashioned into an effective team
  • what field team’s immediate priorities are
  • how people are kept safe
  • how key supplies are sourced and protected
  • how decision making is kept rational in emotionally charged situations

Gareth will also be joined by an ‘in-field’ colleague who will reveal to attendees the reality of disaster relief in real time and how qualified plumbers can utilise these insights to increase the standard of their own work.

Gareth has worked in the aid sector for 30 years, having been directly involved in the immediate response to many global emergencies including in Asia, Iraq and Haiti. He has developed extensive operational experience of how aid agencies need to respond in the aftermath of a disaster and is therefore well-equipped to educate the industry on the fundamental need to be WaterSafe.

David Adams, Master of The WCoP, said: “This Plumbers’ Annual Lecture is not to be missed! You will find out what really goes on behind the scenes, the things you will not learn from a TV report, at one of the world’s most effective humanitarian relief organisations.

“You will also hear a positive message. There are stories of hope, even in the most challenging circumstances, and we can all make a difference. Gareth’s stories will help to inspire all delegates and educate them on why a focus on sanitation is not only critical in humanitarian crises, but also at home in the UK.”

Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer at The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), added: “Water sanitation is critical. Globally, 2.2 billion people have no access to clean water while 3.5 billion people are forced to live without hygienic sanitation, according to an annual report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

“However, access to clean water is also a critical issue here in the UK. Water companies – and quite rightly so – have faced tough criticism lately for not disposing of waste water effectively and instead polluting rivers and causing health problems to locals. On top of this, The Hygiene Bank which helps people across the UK who can’t afford essential toiletries states that hygiene poverty is the first sign a family is falling into crisis. This has become more prominent with the cost of living crisis. It is fundamental that we, the plumbing industry, do our bit and ensure that any and all installations are clean, hygienic and fit for purpose, otherwise customers can face serious consequences as a result of water contamination.

“We look forward to Gareth’s speech and utilising his experience to inform how we can drive standards right here in the UK.”

The Company and CIPHE have collaborated on a number of initiatives to drive standards within the industry and support installers, including the Plumbing Professionals Development Scheme.

The Plumbers’ 39th Annual Lecture will take place on 13 May 2024 from 5:15pm until 8:45pm at Carpenters Hall, 1 Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2JJ.

To book a place, visit: https://www.plumberscompany.org.uk/event/the-plumbers-39th-annual-lecture-2024/