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West Midlands community hub crowned Community Initiative of the Year

From the Knowledge Centre

South Staffs Water and its partner, Echo Managed Services, have claimed the coveted ‘Community Initiative of the Year’ award at the 2019 Utility Week Awards.

The accolade was awarded for The South Staffs Water Community Hub - an accessible space, opened on Wednesbury high street in Staffordshire, designed to create a trusted, friendly and accessible location for South Staffs Water’s customers to interact with the company and other local organisations and charities.

South Staffs Water had noted a growing shortage of easily accessible community services, and decided to open the space to support one of its most socially deprived areas.

“We're so pleased to win this award. We originally set up our community hub as an easy and informal way for local people to talk to us and to find out more about their water. It’s developed into so much more, with community groups using the hub almost every day. This award recognises all the work our hub team puts in to ensure that local people get the support they need and access to so much more. Thank you to our partners and customers who make it a success."

Rachael Merrell, Head of Retail Customer Services at South Staffs Water

The hub is the first of its kind in the water sector, and provides a space that creates genuine social value for the local community. It not only offers water bill support but creates a much-needed community space to bring local organisations together to offer rounded support to local people.

The ‘Community Initiative of the Year’ award recognises a scheme, which makes a significant contribution to communities, and benefits the recipients far more than the company. The Utility Week Awards are the gold standard of achievement for water and energy companies, rewarding and celebrating outstanding performance and innovation.

“We are proud to have supported South Staffs Water with this important initiative, which is making a real difference to the lives of local people. Being involved in this project has been really rewarding for our contact centre teams, helping them better understand the difficulties some South Staffs Water customers face in their daily lives and using this to further improve the service we deliver. It’s also been a fantastic opportunity for us to get behind fundraising and donation activities and give something back to our local community.”

Monica Mackintosh, Managing Director at Echo Managed Services

The Utility Week awards ceremony took place on 9 December 2019, in London.

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