Stoke Newington’s Luminary Bakery ‘twins’ its toilet with loo in Pakistan for anti-poverty campaign

Soroptimist International of East London's Halimot Ogunnaike presenting Luminary Bakery's Essy Sparr

Soroptimist International of East London's Halimot Ogunnaike presenting Luminary Bakery's Essy Sparrow with twinning certificate. Picture: Alison Charles - Credit: Alison Charles

An east London women’s organisation teamed up with Stoke Newington’s Luminary Bakery to flush out poverty by “twinning toilets” in Pakistan.

Women's volunteer organisation Soroptimist International of East London raised funds for the quirky campaign Toilet Twinning, which provides clean water, hygiene education and latrines to some of the poorest nations in the world.

It means Soroptimist has paid £60 to sponsor a loo in Sindh District in Pakistan that is twinned with the one in the Allen Road bakery.

Luminary Bakery gives opportunities for women to take control of their lives by mentoring them in employment, and was recently featured in the British Vogue issue guest edited by Meghan Markle.

Luminary's founder Alice Boyle said: "In twinning the toilet of the Luminary Bakery we know that we are supporting women and children far away in Pakistan to have access to decent sanitary provision preventing disease and saving lives."

Alice said she was taken by surprise when she found out her bakery would be highlighted by the Duchess of Sussex.

She said: "We were approached by Vogue to do an interview but only when we received a letter from the Duchess did we realise she was involved.

Most Read

"It's a great honour to be included as a force of change."

Luminary mentors refugees and women referred by charities and provides them with six months of training through their Progression Support Programme.

They teach them practical skills and help build their confidence, tailoring their support to the individual.

One third of the women they mentor end up working in the bakery full time.

Toilet Twinning runs in 25 countries. You can purchase a toilet for a family in need with a £60 donation and, for £240, you can twin a school block.

Soroptimist has twinned two other toilets in east London before, but Luminary is the first in Hackney.

President of London and Anglia region for Soroptimist International Alison Charles said: "It's really a pleasure to be able to support both the women of Luminary Bakery and also women far away in Pakistan."

For more information about toilet twinning visit

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter