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 2014/15 were:
1. Impact of our extensive capital investment programme
- Our media score target for 2014/15 was +15. We out-turned at 15.06.
- Our target was for 'Customer understanding of investment in our region' to be 7 out of 10. We out-turned at 8.1.
- Our target for "Stakeholders understanding of our regional investment programme" was 7.5. We out-turned at 7.59.
2. Impact of our extensive capital investment programme
- Our media score target for 2013/14 was +15. We out-turned at 17.5.
- Our target was for 'Customer understanding of investment in our region' to be 7 out of 10. We out-turned at 8.3.
- Our target for "Stakeholders understanding of our regional investment programme" was 7.5. We out-turned at 8.6.
3. Supporting customers in respect of price rises, affordability and water poverty by:-
Contributing £890,000 to the Yorkshire Water Community Trust in 2014/15 which helped over 2,200 customers.
Our Resolve enhanced scheme payment matching scheme. Over 4,000 customers made payments worth £1.5 million through Resolve, and in turn the company wrote off £3 million of outstanding debt during the financial year 2014/15.
Providing the Watersure tariff to customers meeting the criteria. During 2014/15, we helped over 5,700 customers with our Watersure tariff with each customer benefitting from an average reduction in their Water Bill of £400.
- 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
4. 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 2014/15, 390 education visits, at our centres and in schools, were delivered to 8.179 customers.
- Our Green Classroom resource was issued to 113 schools – a total of 4681 booklets being issued across the region.
- Our Speakers attended 134 events, reaching an audience of over 7232 customers.
- Yorkshire was in the spotlight in 2014/15 for all the right reasons helping us to celebrate our beautiful county by kicking off the iconic Grand Depart ahead of the Tour De France. In the run up to the Grand Depart we sponsored a 100 day cultural festival working with Welcome to Yorkshire to bring a mirage of different events to villages, towns and cities right across Yorkshire. Our sponsorship enabled us to engage with customers in the region, show our support to Yorkshire and showcase our land and reservoirs at some key cultural events.
- 2014/15 also marked the start of our ‘Save a little save a lot’ campaign that provided customers with advice on how to save water and gadgets that can help them save water. 26,439 water saving packs were ordered by our customers which meant a total of 87,821 devices were installed in customers’ homes across the region. The packs were promoted via customer events, advertising campaigns and information delivered to customer homes.
- Our winter campaign aimed to provide customers with advice around how they could protect their pipes in winter. The winter was relatively mild so this year’s campaign focussed on distributing advice to over 600,000 customer via their bills, emailing over 300,000 customers, engaging with local charity partners who distributed over 4000 leaflets, advertisements in an over 50’s magazine creating over 30,000 opportunities to see the campaigns messaging. As part of our ‘Helping you keep your Home Happy’ campaign we also partnered with Waitrose and Sainsbury’s to provide customers with free devices to collect fat, oil and grease from Christmas Dinners.
- Our ‘Stop it Don’t Block it’ campaign that encourages customers to change their behaviours around how they dispose of fats, oils, grease and wipes was live in March 2015 – providing our customers with advise on what the problems they can cause to their own homes, and what they need to do with the waste instead. The campaign created over 8.5 million opportunities to see or hear it’s messages via radio adverts, outdoor advertising, local community events, digital advertising and media/social media coverage.
5. Demonstrating our large environmental responsibilities, sustainability and conservation by:
- Access improvement at Scout Dike to improve the surface of the route and drainage, making the surface suitable for wheel and push chairs alike.
- Completed a review of existing promoted walks to ensure they are fit for purpose, safe and waymarked.
- At specific sites with easyaccess provision routes and facilities have been reviewed by a professional and imaginative consultative service. The report recommendations are being implemented and in 2015-16 financial year it is expected more will be undertaken providing access for all giving opportunities for everyone to enjoy our land.
- We worked with an inclusive access consultant to develop and improve access around our Damflask reservoir site. We sort the views of an access forum, who had a range of disabilities, on how they found our walking route around the reservoir and how this could be improved to make their visitor experience better. Having gained their opinions and views we then carried out works on the ground to accommodate these changes and also introduced a tactile map for use by the blind and visually impaired. Having completed the works we then re-visited the site with the access forum to gauge their thoughts on the route following the implementation of the works.
- We continued to manage the Yorkshire woodland holding to meet the UKWAS, FSC accreditation standard. The specific woodland works to enhance and restore our Ancient Woodland sites continues and includes the control of invasive weeds on theses specific sites.
- Management continued of the meadows, water bodies and woodlands at Tophill Low Nature Reserve. The High Level Stewardship (HLS) agreement with Natural England for land and water body targets management to meet Bio-diversity Action Plan habitats and species.
- We support for the Black Grouse reintroduction programme on YWS land in North Yorkshire.
- During 2014/15 we invested £149k on restoring our vital peatland areas and protecting the 11,400Ha of SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) that we own to ensure their continued health and clean water for the people of Yorkshire. The Natural England’s condition target has been met and exceeded with 98.7% of Yorkshire Water's Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), (conservation designation denoting a protected area) attaining Unfavourable Recovering Condition or better. SSSI's are now part of the company's performance commitment 'Land Conserved and Enhanced'. The target is to maintain the 98.7% of SSSI's in Unfavourable Recovering Condition or better by 2020 with the focus on moving more units into Favourable Condition.
- 120 one off events and activities were hosted and supported across our land and waters e.g. scouting activities, fell races, charity fund raisers, orienteering, sponsored walks, school field trips.
- We supported the delivery of the Grand Depart prior to the Tour De France including visitor access to our land, the Cultural Festival and tenant liaison support during the run up to the event.
- Created new flow regimes downstream of 4 reservoirs to meet our WFD responsibilities. At 2 reservoirs, Grimwith and Dale Dike, the new releases will return reliable flows to rivers that have been dry for over a hundred years, benefitting native species such as brown trout.
- Improved fish passage in the headwaters above Broomhead and Strines reservoirs to allow fish to access their natural spawning areas.
- Created a fish bypass channel at Rodley weir in partnership with Rodley Nature Reserve.
- We created a new stretch of stream habitat in partnership at Rabbit ings to find out if changes in the path and speed of the water can improve water quality.
- We developed a partnership with the Dearne Green Heart Nature Improvement Area at Wombwell treatment works to bring non operational areas of the works into conservation management.
Our community management targets are reviewed annually during our business planning process.