Innovative partnership expanding support available to Yorkshire Water customers 

A woman sitting in chair on the phone while holding a letter from Yorkshire Water and smiling at a small child
Community and people General news


Yorkshire Water is trialling a new partnership to improve the support it offers to people in Yorkshire who may be struggling financially.  

The utility has joined forces with TellJo in a first direct partnership within the water sector. 

TellJo helps businesses understand the reasons why customers have missed payments and uses award-winning technology to signpost additional support that is available to them, helping to build resilience and wellbeing for customers.  

Yorkshire Water is using the technology to improve the support available to customers, including offering payment arrangements, the option to sign up to debt or support schemes and to register to be on the Yorkshire Water Priority Services Register.  

In the initial TellJo trial in autumn 2023, around 2,000 customers were asked to complete a seven-minute wellbeing check to identify what vulnerabilities they may have. The success of the pilot has meant that this has now been expanded to help more customers. By the end of 2023-24, Yorkshire Water is aiming to roll out the TellJo questionnaire to more than 12,000 customers to help those who require it to access additional help. 

Claire Gott, community engagement manager at Yorkshire Water said: “We know when customers don’t pay their bills or fall into financial difficulty there’s often more to their circumstances and we want to understand how customers are coping and what we can do to help.  

“When customers complete the wellbeing check, TellJo provides them with tailored outcomes and Yorkshire Water can also offer payment arrangements, financial help through support schemes and see if they will benefit from our priority services register. 

“As an organisation we care about the wellbeing of our customers, and we feel this is a great way for customers to communicate with us exactly how they are feeling and give them the support they need. Everybody’s circumstances are different and through the first phase of this pilot more than 1,000 signposts to external help have been offered, assisting customers to get back on top of their finances and any other areas where they may require additional support. In addition, we have been able to directly provide water bill support via bill reductions, debt support schemes or tailored payment arrangements to more than 150 of these customers.” 

Dominic Maxwell, co-founder of TellJo said: “When people get into debt or arrears it can be very daunting and as the letters pile up from companies demanding payment, it’s all too easy for customers to bury their head in the sand.  

“Through TellJo we can help companies identify the root causes of why customers fall into debt, and signpost customers in the right direction to receive help and prevent them falling into a crisis. Through this first phase of the pilot, we’ve identified several vulnerabilities, whether that be physical or mental health, chronic illness, financial, health or addiction.  

“Once vulnerability is identified, people have the option to share the information back to Yorkshire Water, where they can receive additional support, helping to alleviate stress and help customers start getting back on top of their finances. It’s been a successful collaboration with Yorkshire Water, and we look forward to continuing our work with them.”