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Honorary degree for Katie
THE founder of a company which provides clean water in both rural India and at UK music festivals has received a major industry award.
Katie Alcott, who was born in Worcester and grew up in Malvern, received the honorary degree of Master of Business Administration from UWE Bristol for her pioneering work in founding the social enterprise and registered charity, FRANK Water.
Since graduating from UWE with a degree in fine art, Mrs Alcott set up the firm, that funds life-saving clean water projects.
As Katie Harrison, she was born in Worcester in 1978 and grew up on the family farm at Mathon, near Malvern.
Educated at Hillside and Lawnside Schools in Malvern, she moved to Hereford Cathedral School to take GCSEs and A-levels, before applying to UWE’s Bower Ashton Campus to study fine art. Now as Mrs Alcott, she lives with her husband Tom and three children at Bishop’s Frome, on the Worcestershire-Herefordshire border.
Her interest in international issues, specifically access to drinking water, was sparked on a trip to India in 1997.
During time spent teaching at a community school in Kashmir, Northern India, she suffered amoebic dysentery from drinking dirty water.
This led her to realise how poor water quality affected the local communities, an experience which would later inspire her business.
In 2005, having moved back to Bristol, Mrs Alcott founded FRANK Water, a social enterprise based on the concept of ‘water for water’.
She sold her own ethical brand of bottled water to local shops, cafes and restaurants and donated the profits to clean water projects.
In 2007, she established FRANK Water Projects, a registered charity that could receive direct donations.
To date, FRANK Water has funded 104 clean water projects, providing access to sustainable, safe water to more than 250,000 people in rural India.
The Bristol-based firm now has a team of five staff and more than 40 dedicated volunteers, many of whom are involved in the innovative ‘FreeFill’ initiative which has been developed as a more sustainable drinking water solution for the UK festival market. Mrs Alcott has won numerous local and national entrepreneurship awards, and now balances her time between the trading arm (UK sales of bottled water and FreeFill) and the registered charity.
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