Sidcup Rotary Club

District 1120   RI Club No 19449

Founded 1935

What is a LifeStraw?

The LifeStraw is a personal water purification device designed to turn surface water into drinking water, thus providing access to safe drinking water wherever you are. It was developed by a specialist commercial company, Vestergaard-Frandsen who research, develop and manufacture disease control textiles.

LifeStraws are approximately 25cm long with a diameter of 3cm, very light and of solid construction. It has a cord to place around your neck. It kills disease-causing micro organisms which spread diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

The LifeStraw contains a number of filters and a pharmaceutical pouch that clean the water and treat it chemically. There are no electrical or moving parts and no maintenance is required - simply blow back after use to remove the debris that has been filtered.

 About £2.50 will buy a LifeStraw that can provide drinkable water for an adult for a whole year. Please help us to raise as much as we can to really make a difference to people in time of devastating natural disaster. A larger units the LifeStraw Family will provide safe drinking water for a family for up to 3 years! LifeStraw  distribute them to wherever they are needed and in addition they are included in Shelterboxes which are sent to disaster areas.

Our Rotary Club first became aware of LifeStraw thanks to Past President Chris Clayton who identified the charity,set up by the Rotary Club of Brynmawr, Wales,  as his special project for his year as President, 2006-7. He was wholeheartedly supported by the club and with a variety of fundraising efforts our club managed to raise over £23,000 during the year.

The following is from the President of the Brynmawr Club

Our records show that the Sidcup RC has to date donated in excess of £37,000.00 to the LifeStraw charity. Converting this directly into the amount of safe water that this would produce,( bearing in mind that the majority of these funds were used to purchase the Personal model, the only one available at that time) we arrive at the figure of 5,180,000 litres. The more accurate figure would be good deal higher as the later donations were used to purchase the LifeStraw Family Model, each of which produces about 20,000 litres of safe water per unit, supporting a family of 5 for 3 years.


The Rotary Club of Sidcup has donated more funds to the LifeStraw charity than any other club in the UK.


Together with other donations, this has allowed us to provide over 160,000 LifeStraw units to those in need all over the world. The most recent large scale recipient being Pakistan, where we have to date provided sufficient LifeStraws for almost 120,000,000 litres of safe water.


We are at present organising deliveries to Haiti, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and the Zambia, so there is always plenty more to do, and please do not forget that the LifeStraw does not make people more comfortable, be able to see or walk, it just keeps them alive, and if they are not alive, then everything else become irrelevant.  So, on the behalf of those who you will never meet, Many Thanks to you all.


Yours in Rotary Friendship


David Dutson

Chair & Club President.

Why are LifeStraws needed?

There is a massive need. More than one billion of the world’s population are without access to safe water, half suffer from waterborne diseases of which approx. 6000 people, mostly children, die every day from consuming unsafe water - even if we could help a small fraction of these people, what an achievement that would be.

LifeStraws can be used -

What does it do?

By sucking through the LifeStraw the user can drink from surface water such as streams or rivers and it protects them from the micro organisms responsible for causing waterborne diseases. It will filter approximately 700 litres of water - more than enough for one adult to survive for a year. After this it will become become clogged up and therefore inoperable.

To make a donation to the Sidcup Rotary Club Benevolent Trust in aid of LifeStraws click here to go to and the Sidcup Rotary Club Benevolent Trust page. Please type “ LifeStraws” in the message box.

Should you rather donate by cheque please make it payable to the “Rotary Club of Sidcup Trust” write LifeStraw on the reverse and send it to:

Sidcup Rotary Club Lifestraw Appeal, c/o OBWH, Numeric House, 98 Station Road, Sidcup DA15 7BY.   

GIFT AID. Should you wish to Gift Aid your donation please click here for a form.

LifeStraws is a charity set up by the Rotary Club of Brynmawr, Wales click here to access their website