Reading-based Thames Water staff announce Dementia UK as charity partner


Thames Water’s employees have chosen Dementia UK to be its new charity partner for the next two years following a company-wide poll.


Britain’s biggest water company has announced the partnership in time for Dementia UK’s national ‘Time for a Cuppa’ Week (May 1 – 8). The annual tea party event aims to bring people together over tea, coffee, and cake to raise funds to help more families receive the life-changing support of dementia specialist Admiral Nurses.


When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them; giving compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions which can be hard to find elsewhere. They are continually trained, developed and supported by Dementia UK.


The charity will receive donations collected through a range of fundraising activities organised by the company and mass participation events such as the London Marathon, the Reading Half Marathon and Thames Path Challenge.


Sarah Bentley, Thames Water CEO, said: “With this week being Dementia UK’s Time for a Cuppa week, what better moment is there to celebrate that we’re partnering with this important charity over the next two years. I know that sadly a number of our 15 million customers will have first-hand experience of a loved one living with dementia or even be living with it themselves. We truly care about the communities that we live and work in and this is one way that we can support them and have a positive impact, beyond our core day-to-day business. I’ll certainly be taking time for a cuppa this week.”


Claire Iredale, Thames Water’s charities and volunteering co-ordinator, said: “We’re excited to be supporting Dementia UK, a cause which resonates with everyone here at Thames Water. The partnership will provide lots of opportunities for staff across our region to fundraise and volunteer. I look forward to seeing how our colleagues will help raise funds for this fantastic charity.”


Dr. Hilda Hayo, CEO and Chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK said: “We couldn't be more pleased to have the support of Thames Water in helping us reach more families with dementia. Over the two years of the partnership, we're looking forward to hearing about all the innovative fundraising going on from staff at Thames Water for more Admiral Nurses, and working with them in supporting the access families with dementia have to their services."


The funds raised by Thames Water will go towards funding local dementia specialist Admiral Nurses and the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline.


The company has run dementia awareness sessions for its staff, so they can recognise symptoms and understand how best to offer support to friends and family living with dementia, as well as customers they may meet in person or speak to on the phone.


Customers with dementia qualify for Thames Water’s free priority services register (PSR), which can provide them with extra support during a water supply interruption and tailored communications services. Third parties like relatives, carers and charities can also add someone with dementia to the PSR on their behalf.


Last year Thames Water staff voted for a continued partnership with Thames Water’s charity partner WaterAid and to also support another charity which would be chosen by employees every two years.


The company’s staff recently raised more than £1.3 million to improve access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene in impoverished communities in Malawi. The latest figure means Thames Water’s employees and customers have donated more than £40 million to WaterAid since the charity was founded in 1981, with the money going towards vital projects across the globe.


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