We are committed to engaging positively with the communities we serve, and to minimise the impacts of our activities.
In 2014 we launched our community investment programme which will see us invest £6.5m in community projects over the next 5 years.
The community investment strategy has been developed in response to a wide range of feedback including customer research and stakeholder comments, and aims to improve customer awareness of what we do for them.
Delivering activities and initiatives
We have identified five strategic objectives, under which projects are scoped according to the needs of the community and the resources and expertise available that we can offer, including charitable donations and fundraising efforts. These objectives are:
- To implement education initiatives for schools and our customers around water conservation and environmental protection
- To increase public access to our sites and contribute to cultural heritage
- To enhance water-related visitor attractions
- To support community projects that deliver environmental and wildlife improvements
- To invest time and money in projects which deliver measurable community benefits
Activities are developed in conjunction with credible community and charitable partners, and delivered by the Community Investment team and our employee volunteers. We also seek volunteering opportunities that are skills based and aimed at creating leadership skills.
Our employees are key in helping to deliver our popular environmental and education focussed programmes, from improving woodland habitats to our Community Speaker Programme. Through the speaker programme, employees engage with schools and community groups on a variety of topics, including water efficiency and bin it don’t block it.
The Thames Water Charities Committee meets quarterly to consider applications from external charitable organisations seeking funding and authorises matched funding for employee fundraising.
We also continue to support our principle charity, WaterAid. Employees at all levels are involved through a variety of activities from fundraising to speaking to schools and community groups about the charity.
At a senior level, the Thames Water WaterAid Steering Committee, which sets fundraising targets and strategy each year, and meets regularly to review progress and recognise achievements.
From 2011-2015 we raised a staggering £2.1 million through employee led fundraising, contractors and customer support. This funding supported our Thames 4 Bangladesh programme which helped to provide clean water and sanitation to four towns in Bangladesh and WaterAid’s core fundraising.
In 2015 we are continuing to support WaterAid and our graduate trainees have been fundraising to support projects in Nepal following the devastating earthquake this year. We hope to begin support of a new four year programme commencing in 2016.
We have set ourselves the following targets for this year:
- Our target for the proportion of employees using the company 'Give as you earn' payroll scheme is 5 per cent.
- We continue to support WaterAid by raising £166,000.
Read more about our community initiatives
Find out how we support a wide range of initiatives, organisations and charities in our area and how to apply.