The story of Alive & Well

The charity Alive & Well was created in 2009 and dedicated to taking practical direct action and to moving as quickly as possible to alleviate suffering in Sierra Leone.







A group of friends based in the West Country, many of whom have known each other for over 20 years, came together around a simple idea: “How do we make a difference in the world and embark on an adventure at the same time?” From this germ of an idea grew a bigger one, namely to provide clean safe water where there was none.  One of the fundamental rights of every man, woman and child in the world is to have access to safe drinking water. What better way to make a difference? So, Alive & Well came into existence over a few beers in the pub, as so many great ideas do.

We were concerned by the apparent waste and run-away costs of many of the large charities who appear to have such a poor track record of getting the funds that they raise to the actual people in need. So we decided that we would create a charity where most (over 95%) of the funds raised would be put to use on the ground (and we’ve achieved even better than that!) to act as a new model for other charities.

We agreed to raise funds specifically to buy drilling equipment, to ship everything to the country, and to send a team to sink the first phase of bore-holes, thereby immediately starting to transform communities and save lives. The funds would also support the training of local crews to continue drilling wells and for supporting them with a regular wage.

We set about creating a practical immediate physical solution to getting clean water to people who desperately needed it. In 2009 we said that: ‘The aim is to avoid bureaucracy and raise f