Yorkshire Water celebrates WaterAid’s 35th birthday by raising £5million

Today (Thursday 21 July), Yorkshire Water employees are celebrating WaterAid’s 35th birthday.

WaterAid was set up by the UK water industry in 1981, 35 years ago, before becoming an independent charity and today the water industry remains at the heart of the charity. Water companies, like Yorkshire Water as well as many of our contractors, suppliers and customers, continue to provide vital support to help WaterAid improve access to safe water and sanitation across the world.

In the last 35 years, WaterAid has gone from strength to strength to become one of the most respected organisations dealing solely with water, sanitation and hygiene issues.

Staff, partners and customers of Yorkshire Water have helped raised more than £5million over the 35 years we have supported the international charity.

Our colleagues have raised the funds through a variety of activities, such as the WaterAid lottery, payroll giving and a text-to-donate campaign, a water cycle challenge, the annual 10k run, the family fun day and the World Toilet Day Quiz. Customers have also made a significant contribution by responding to fundraising appeals included with their water bills.

As well as raising funds, we support WaterAid’s campaigning and advocacy by engaging local MPs and speaking to local schools and community groups about WaterAid’s work.

Today’s celebrations include a party at the Leeds Dock offices with a WaterAid themed birthday cake baked by Jayne Blackburn. Bradford employees have also shown off their baking skills by holding a bake sale at the company’s Buttershaw Headquarters. A trolley service tempted colleagues to buy the delicious treats without even moving from their desks.

Colleagues have also been encouraged to empty their spare change into WaterAid themed money boxes (wishing wells) and collections have been made region-wide across our offices. Various key sites have been decorated with WaterAid balloons and posts on social media are designed to raise awareness of WaterAid.

In 2014, we launched our ‘Big Wish for Ethiopia’ campaign which aims to raise £1 million to deliver clean water and safe toilets to 170,00 households, and provide further support to 20 towns across the country over five years.

In June 2015, we sent three experts to Ethiopia to share their expertise with the Ethiopian Minister of Water and Irrigation and managers from 20 Water Utilities.

The trio spent nine days in Ethiopia advising on water quality, leakage detection and asset management.

Anna Murphy, in charge of the Leeds celebration, said: “We are very proud of our long-standing partnership with WaterAid. The passion, enthusiasm and commitment of our staff ensure that we continue to run great fundraising events and activities and do our part to help WaterAid’s work around the world, and make a real difference.”

You can find out more information on how we support WaterAid here.