Echo Logo

West Midlands community hub crowned Community Initiative of the Year

Utility Week Awards 2019 Winners

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.

Suggested Further Reading

Share this article

More in the Knowledge Centre

More News


Aptumo adds four new hires to bolster its product team

Billing software business continues to expand as utility sector interest grows


Quarter of water customers let down by poor response to billing problems

More than 7 million households have had a negative water billing experience...


Echo holds fundraising day to raise money for Acorns Children’s Hospice

Utility specialist raises £900 for Walsall children’s hospice


Echo achieves new ISO 45001:2018 safety certification

Echo's on-going commitment to employee safety.


More on Customer Contact & Engagement


Echo shortlisted for three prestigious awards

We're delighted to have been shortlisted alongside our client South Staffs Water for three water sector and customer service focused...


How can the water sector climb up the customer satisfaction rankings?

Echo's MD, Monica Mackintosh, shares her thoughts on the July 2019 UK Customer Satisfaction Index and what the water sector, in...

2 October 2019 by Monica Mackintosh

Case Study

Echo and Caring Homes: effectively handling new enquiries

Caring Homes – a leading provider of care homes for elderly people in the UK – is working with outsourced customer contact...

Research & Resources

Retaining Customers in a World of Choice

This 24 page consumer research report looks at switching attitudes, behaviours and frustrations across a range of sectors including energy, telecoms,...


Choose how you want to get in touch with us

Pick up the phone and call us...

0845 12 12 122


...or simply email us for a quick response.