Making a positive difference in our community
Our Community Principles
The Kelda Group provides local communities with much more than just high quality water and sewerage services.
We have an extensive engagement programme, providing support and help-in-kind to a wide variety of different organisations across the communities we serve. These partnerships are of enormous important to us in terms of forging stronger links and by making a tangible and positive difference to the quality of people's lives.
We provide this support in three key areas:
- Education - through educating young people and local communities on the value of what we do.
- Environment - playing a key role as one of Yorkshire's largest land owners in enhancing the natural and build environment.
- Empowerment - providing opportunities for our colleagues to share skills with the local community through employee supported volunteering.
We aim to do this by:
- Providing a range of educational visits into our industry, strongly aligned to the National Curriculum, through our education and outreach programme.
- Raising awareness of our capital investment programme through open days, customer events and community presentations.
- Educating customer groups through our campaign work on key issues relevant to the water industry.
- Supporting local communities through our employee supported volunteering programme.
- Providing financial support through our employee fundraising team to local and regional charities, and by offering Payroll Giving opportunities
- Recognising vulnerable customers through our Helping Hands register, providing guidance and support in respect of bill payment, and raising awareness of Bogus Caller issues.
- Communicating widely, where possible, throughout the delivery of capital investment work to deliver the best possible solution whilst minimising disruption to customers.
- Managing our impact on the local environment through our investments to coastal and river water quality, by reducing our carbon footprint, creating more of our own energy and by developing a plan to manage water supplies in the event of a drought.
- By developing sustainable environmental and community partnerships and through regular liaison with key stakeholders throughout the region and industry.
The Kelda Group does not partake in any commercial initiatives in the community.
Our Community Management Targets and Outturns for 2015/16 were:
1. Impact of our extensive capital investment programme
- Our media score target for 2015/16 was +15. We out-turned at 15.2.
- Bathing Waters - Our target was to deliver the required waste water standards to play our part in the Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership's aim for 8 Blue Flags along the region's coastline in 2015.
The outputs for 2015/16 are detailed on Page 25 of the Annual Report and whilst only 4 Blue Flags were achieved in the region, we delivered the waste water standards required to achieve 8 Flags and we continue to support the multiagency Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership to help the region achieve the overall goal. The partnership has agreed to continue as a group striving for 8 Blue Flags in the region.
2. Supporting customers in respect of price rises, affordability and water poverty by:
- Contributing £922,000 to the Yorkshire Water Community Trust in 2015/16 which helped over 2,000 customers.
- Our Resolve enhanced scheme payment matching scheme. Over 5,000 customers made payments worth £1.16 million through Resolve, and in turn the company wrote off £2.7 million of outstanding debt during the financial year 2015/16.
- Providing the Watersure tariff to customers meeting the criteria. During 2015/16, we helped over 6,000 customers with our Watersure tariff with each customer benefitting from an average reduction in their Water Bill of £405.
- Providing a social tariff, WaterSupport, to 9,000 customers saving each household an average of £170 each.
- Offering flexible payment plans offering varying regularity of payment terms and methods
- Offering free water meters are available to all Yorkshire Water customers paying by rateable value and promoting water efficiency
- Partnering with other organisations to promote budgeting advice to customers offered by third parties such as Step Change
3. Creating greater awareness and building understanding of our services by:
- Offered an education programme, educational visits and speakers service to the community we serve.
- During 2015/16, 318 education sessions were delivered at our centres providing 8483 tour opportunities at clean and waste water treatment works.
- Our Green Classroom resource was issued to 43 schools – a total of 1680 booklets being issued across the region.
- During 2015/16 our volunteer speakers attended 151 events, reaching an audience of over 2123 adults customers and 6620 students at 55 schools
- We delivered the second year of our ‘Save a little save a lot’ campaign, creating 17,651,580 opportunities to hear or see our campaign messages. As a result we received 38,305 water pack sign up requests against a target of 27,000, which equates to a saving of 1.64 megalitres per day of water. In addition, 40% of customers surveyed said that the main message they took away from the campaign was that it was important to save water. The packs were promoted via customer events, advertising campaigns and information delivered to customer homes.
- Our ‘This is Yorkshire Water’ campaign was launched in Janaury 2016 to increase customer perception around basic messaging concerning the services we provide. These key messages were:
- Provide all of Yorkshire with clean Safe drinking water,
- Protect the environment,
- Invest in beaches to make them the best in Europe,
- Return waste water back to nature safely,
- Reducing leakage
-Helping to boost Yorkshire’s economy
- During the campaign we received 2.1 million customers through a postcard insert and 397,031 customers via facebook advertising. In the final wave of tracking the campaign effectiveness, 20% of customers recall seeing the This is Yorkshire Water campaign, this was up 13% from the initial read on recall (which we tracked midway into the campaign) and up 9% from average levels of recall from previous campaigns
Our brand perception and value for money score was increased by 4% from the beginning of the campaign to when campaign tracking ended and Almost half (45%) of customers said their perception of YW was 'much better' as result of coming across the campaign.
4. Demonstrating our large environmental responsibilities, sustainability and conservation by:
- During 2015/16 we continued to play an active role in managing flood risk through our involvement in local and regional flood partnership groups, taking part in training exercises with emergency services and local resilience forums, and investing in a number of flood risk schemes in partnership with local authorities and the Environment Agency.
- Our £0.5 million investment in a flood wall at one of our water pumping stations was put to the test just months after it was built and successfully prevented 500,000 customers from losing drinking water supply during the Boxing Day 2016 floods.
- We continue our work to improve access to our land and reservoirs, working with the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Experience Community, an inclusive access specialist, to upgrade the path around Grimwith reservoir to make it suitable for off road wheelchairs, buggies and trikes. We have also delivered year one of the four year Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, working with farmers, English Heritage, the Wildlife Trust and others to protect and enhance the wildlife habitats and historic artefacts of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- We continue to support region wide efforts to tackle invasive species on and along our waterways. Invasive species such as floating pennywort out-compete our native plants and can completely choke rivers and ponds with damaging effects on native wildlife and our infrastructure as well as preventing recreational use by anglers and canoeists. We have worked with the Environment Agency and the Canal and Rivers Trust to tackle invasive species as part of a co-ordinated effort across the Calder, Don and Aire catchments.
- KWS(Defence) have been involved in a number of large construction schemes resulting in environmental improvements in both the clean and waste water networks across the MoD estate. These projects have included numerous stakeholders, including the Environment Agency, Natural England and DIO. One project, Sennybridge Training Area, hosts three sites of special scientific interest and we supported a project to enable potable water to be obtained from new boreholes instead of via bowsers, which involved the installation of new water treatment works including new chlorination units, UV disinfection and filtration systems. This project represented a significant environmental benefit and a sustainable long term solution for provision of potable water to this remote site.
- In July 2015, over 20 KWS(Defence) colleagues participated in the Kelda Community Conservation Day held at our head office in Barnsley. Colleagues worked in teams to build over 40 bird boxes and bug houses which have now been distributed across our sites, stretching from Cornwall – South West - Wales – Midlands, to help provide nature a home. A member of the RSPB attended to offer help and advice. Delicious cakes made my KWS(D) staff were on sale throughout the day to provide the required sugar levels needed for the DIY construction, this raised over £40 for charity.
Our community management targets are reviewed annually during our business planning process.