Customer and Community Grants

Through our Customer and Community Grants Scheme, individuals and organisations can apply for a grant to alleviate financial hardship or support charity and community projects.

Many of our customers’ circumstances have been affected by the impact of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the work charities and grassroots, volunteer-led community projects do for our communities is more vital than ever before. We’ve set up our Customer and Community Grants Scheme to give money back to those in our region who need support the most.

Overall, £500,000 is available through the scheme. These funds will be used to support our communities in different ways. We are donating to three large charities working across our region. In addition, customers, charities and community groups can apply for a one-off grant also taken from this total fund.

Who can apply?

Applications can be made for three separate categories. Explore each one to find out who is eligible and how to apply, along with the specific terms and conditions for each category.

Customer Hardship Fund

If you’re facing financial hardship or challenging circumstances, you can apply for funds to reduce your bills, write-off debt or towards home improvements.

Apply now

Community Grants – Level 1

Registered charities operating in the South East can apply to become one of our five regional charity partners and receive a grant of £10k–£20k.

Apply now

Community Grants – Level 2

Smaller registered charities, non-registered charities and community groups can apply for a one-off grant of £1k–£8k towards work that supports our customers’ communities.

Apply now
Frequently asked questions

Where has the money come from?

As part of our Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS), our customers are entitled to compensation for visits that didn’t go to plan. We’ve done everything we can to match customers who were entitled to a GSS payment during 2015–20 with their compensation. However, identifying all of them has been impossible and some compensation remains unclaimed.

We want to make sure every penny left over has the greatest possible impact. So we’re giving it back to our communities and the individuals who need our support the most.

How hard have you tried to contact the customers eligible for compensation?

We have gone to significant effort to match each non-compliant appointment with a specific customer. Of 35,000 incidents, 26,000 were identified. However, 9,000 could not be matched. In some cases, this was because our systems did not hold forwarding addresses for former customers – or those details had expired – or an appointment was made at a time when there was no customer identifiable as being at the address.

Why can’t the money just be taken off everyone’s bills?

The impact on each customer’s bills would have been very small – about 28 pence each. We determined that the funds would have more impact by targeting those vulnerable customers most in need of support, and local charities and organisations who are working in the heart of our communities to support our customers and their families.

Did anyone else have a say about how this money should be used?

We consulted with our Customer Action Group, CCW and Ofwat to discuss the options for the funds. Their preference was the scheme outlined, which includes support for individuals, regional charities and non-registered charities and social enterprise groups across our region.

Over the next 12 months, we will consult further with these groups and report back on the process to ensure transparency of how the support is going directly back into our customers’ communities and assisting customers experiencing difficulties. Through our social media channels, we will also report back to our customers about how the funds are being used.

Ensuring Water for Life, together

Community

Your community is our community because the vast majority of Southern Water employees live and work in the region.

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Extra help and support

We understand that sometimes you may need a bit of additional assistance, especially in the event of a water shortage.

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Join our Priority Services Register

A confidential register for customers who have individual needs, and ensures our employees know about any special circumstances or needs you may have.

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