Tim is not a person who is easily fazed. A chartered civil engineer, with over 40 years’ experience in the global water and environmental sectors, his career has seen him travel all over the world.

He spent the first two years of his career volunteering overseas with VSO, which saw him working in Nigeria, where he was among a group of volunteers taken hostage by the Biafran Armed Forces (the BAF’s declaration of independence from Nigeria resulted in civil war). An experience which Tim simply says was a good introduction to the unpredictable nature of life working overseas.

Tim and his fellow volunteers were later evacuated and his second placement with VSO took him to Montserrat in the West Indies. There, Tim met and fell in love with another volunteer, who would later become his wife. His next visit to Montserrat was not for some 30 years later, which then coincided with a catastrophic volcanic eruption which saw two-thirds of the island become uninhabitable, even to this day.

Post VSO, Tim spent a large proportion of his conventional working life on water projects of all shapes and sizes, across the world. These ranged from overseeing the rehabilitation of a Victorian water system between mid-Wales and Birmingham to working on EU-funded water and sanitation projects in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Berlin wall.

He has spent time in Ethiopia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Cyprus – where he worked on the Southern Conveyor Project. The project was enormous, seeing water being transferred from one side of Cyprus to the other, part of which involved the construction of a huge inland dam – “before we could begin construction of the dam, an entire village had to be moved!”

Later, in Madagascar and Mozambique, Tim oversaw sanitation projects designed to help alleviate urban poverty – a growing issue in countries where young people migrate from rural villages to work in the city. “There’s a huge demand for water in the shanty towns which are quickly formed to support the incoming population, with little infrastructure to support them.”

Tim’s involvement with Just a Drop happened more-or-less by chance when he got involved in a post-earthquake disaster-relief project in Haiti in 2011. He helped to set up a rainwater catchment system from school roofs to harvest water safely and hygienically for use, later supporting a further two schools with access to water and sanitation. “Disaster-relief project work was a new branch of work for Just a Drop, but I liked the set up and the people working for it and it all sort of fell into place.”

Tim has now volunteered for Just a Drop for 3 years as Project Manager for Nicaragua. His work in Nicaragua is largely of a technical nature and involves liaising with Just a Drop’s in-country partners to see a project through from inception to conclusion. There are various stages involved in getting a water project off the ground and much of what Tim does initially revolves around desk-based research. “I review proposals and ideas that are presented to us for funding, consider their suitability and state of preparation and then approve them for consideration and final approval by Just a Drop’s Board of Trustees. Once approved I remotely monitor the implementation of projects, visiting them periodically to check on progress before writing the final reports.”

Civil engineers are generally practical people who like to get things done and see results… dealing with real global issues and working with people from varied backgrounds is the bonus!

Nicaragua, he says, is a very satisfying place to work, and he enjoys every moment he spends in the country - “I work with a great local partner and between us we really get things done!”

Despite a long career in the field, Tim finds his work for Just a Drop particularly enriching. “It continues to keep me usefully engaged in interesting work in countries and places that I wouldn't otherwise go. It also allows me to use the skills I have acquired - and to enjoy myself!”