Coventry and Warwickshire customers benefit from community support from Severn Trent

Thursday 18th August 2021

Severn Trent has awarded £297,823 to 11 projects via the Community Fund, helped 11,632 customers with payment assistance and provided extra support services to 11,662 vulnerable customers in Coventry and Warwickshire over the last 12 months.

The Coventry-headquartered company takes care of its customers’ wonderful water, but it is also committed to making a real difference in the communities it serves through a series of initiatives designed to improve community wellbeing, support vulnerable customers who need a little extra support and provide funding for customers who need help paying their bill.

Launched in January 2020, Severn Trent’s Community Fund was created to enable amazing charities and causes to make even more of a difference to people’s lives, community spaces and the environment. The Fund will be giving out £10 million over five years through an independent panel made up of customers who decide where the money goes.

Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent said: “If the last year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of being part of a community and taking care of one another and the launch of the Community Fund has been a real beacon of hope for many communities, enabling us to support some wonderful projects.

“We’re really proud of what the fund has achieved and the positive impact it’s making and I’d encourage anyone who has a fantastic community project or idea that would benefit community wellbeing to get in touch as the fund could be just what they need to get that idea off the ground.”

A few of the ways Severn Trent has made a difference in Coventry and Warwickshire over the last 12 months:

• The Community Fund has awarded £297,823 to 11 amazing projects in the local area, including:

  • £10,000 for the Cherry Blossom Planting at the Japanese Peace Garden in Coventry War Memorial Park
  • £198,460 for Historic Coventry Trust to rejuvenate 70 acres of woodland on the old ‘Loop Line’ railway in Coventry

• Supporting the Coventry City of Culture through a number of initiatives including Coventry 2021’s flagship environmental programme, Green Futures and sponsoring the Piccolo spiegeltent in Coventry’s Assembly Festival Garden

• 69 out of 71 young people from our apprentice and graduate schemes are now working in roles across Coventry and Warwickshire

• 74 schools visited and 8,350 children educated about a range of water-related subjects

• 96 employees volunteered to enhance and care for community spaces

• 11,632 customers helped with payment support

• 11,662 vulnerable customers provided with extra support services

• £226,000 invested in supporting farmers to keep pesticides from entering our natural water sources

Foleshill Community Centre is another local project that has benefitted from a grant from the Severn Trent Community Fund. The £9,941 grant has allowed the centre to create two community gardens for families to enjoy.

Helen Needham, Operations Manager at Feeding Coventry said: “The funding provided by Severn Trent has helped Feeding Coventry create two wonderful and welcoming green spaces in Foleshill. Volunteers and members are learning new skills, sharing knowledge and friendships, creating a healthy environment where people are receiving life changing support. We are looking forward to sharing our gardens with families from the local community to cultivate not only plants but also people."

In addition, the company also officially opened the doors to its new state of the art training academy, based in Coventry, in May this year. The purpose-built centre is part of Severn Trent’s wider £10m investment in skills and training and offers a range of development opportunities for Severn Trent’s 7,000 staff, including apprentices, as well as members of the wider community who will have a chance to gain employability skills and training.

“Our headquarters are in Coventry, so for us it’s really important we play a proactive role in both Coventry and across the wider region” added Liv. “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to supporting them at every stage to deliver long-lasting change.”

The company has also issued a reminder that it has a variety of support available for its customers, ranging from its Priority Services Register, for customers who’d benefit from a more personalised service to its Big Difference Scheme, where customers can save up to 90% on their bill and WaterSure, for customers on low income who have to use a lot of water. 

More information on the Priority Service Register can be found here and details about help with bills can be found here.

More information about Severn Trent’s commitment to the local community and projects local to the Coventry and Warwickshire area can be found on this link