Northumbrian Water ask customers to help decide how to share out charity funding

This is the first year of the water company’s new community scheme

Northumbrian Water has launched a charity cash boost initiative and is asking customers to play their part in deciding where future funding goes.

Tens of thousands of pounds will be donated every year through Northumbrian Water’s new community scheme – Drop Swap – the first of its kind for the company.

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The initiative puts customers in the driving seat by deciding where donations to nominated charitable causes go on a bi-monthly basis and all by simply using the utility company’s free app.

Northumbrian Water’s app is available for customers to use around the clock to access services, such as updating their water meter readings and making account payments at a time that suits them.

By using the app customers will be rewarded with ‘e-drops’ to vote for their local charity of choice and can nominate other charitable causes to benefit from future support.

Louise Hunter, who is Northumbrian Water’s Corporate Affairs Director, said: “We already support our local communities in many ways – gifting time and expertise via our amazing employee volunteers to donating cash and equipment to community and environmental projects.

“The Drop Swap initiative is a fantastic addition to the great support we give our communities and it will help the charitable causes that matter the most to our customers.

“The idea originally came from a session with our customers at our 2019 Innovation Festival and so I’m especially pleased to see it brought to life as a great example of how our customers can shape how we deliver our services.

“We want to help as many deserving causes as possible, through this funding channel, across our local communities of the North East.

“So that’s why I’m urging all of our customers to download and start using our free app to help the causes that are close in their hearts.”

The utility company asked its customers and employees which issues they felt were most important to their communities, and where it could make the most positive difference.

The key areas were named as eradicating water poverty, supporting water for health and improving the water environment.

Charities and projects supporting these three areas will benefit from the Drop Swap fund and will also be offered some help from the company’s employee volunteering programme, Just an Hour.

Northumbrian Water is extending its longstanding working partnership of delivering thousands of pounds worth of project grant funding with the support of the County Durham Community Foundation, who will help to deliver this cash funding boost to charitable causes across the whole of its operating area.

Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive at County Durham Community Foundation, said: “It’s really exciting to see Northumbrian Water bringing its charitable giving right up to date and getting customers involved in the decision making.

“The foundation has been working with Northumbrian Water for 20 years to create enduring giving that meets ever-changing community needs, and we are proud to be part of this next step.”

For more information on the company’s Drop Swap initiative, click here and in your android or iOS app store by searching for ‘Northumbrian Water’.