charity, 3rd sector agencies, community, faith and local interest groups, consumer groups health and service providers local government


27 delegates


We wanted to share our performance and outputs over 2021/22 with our stakeholders and provide an opportunity for them to feedback on how they think we have met both stakeholder priorities and business plan commitments.

It was also a chance to explore future priorities, challenges, and opportunities with our stakeholders, to understand what they think our priorities should be for the next 12 months particularly in light of the current political and social climate.

Your comments & our responses


felt that if NGN could only focus on one thing, it should be developing both understanding and projects that support the broad aspects of financial vulnerability – including fuel poverty and sustainable projects

Concerns for the next 12 months

You told us that the biggest concern was around affordability, in particular boiler repairs.

We recognise the increasing challenges around affordability and have begun looking at how we can utilise existing mechanisms that we have in place such as the Customer Support Fund and our partnership with the Foundation for Independent Living Trust to provide additional support to address this. We will also look at new opportunities through the VCMA funding route. We are working on a collaborative project with Cadent Gas to appoint a supplier to deliver a ‘One Number’ single point of contact for the repair and replacement of appliances after a gas emergency.

Concerns for the next 12 months

You said that Support for over 85’s should be a priority.

NGN is working with the other GDN’ on developing a national collaborative project with Age UK – feedback from this session will be shared with the collaborative group as we identify additional projects that we could develop to support this group.

Challenges within your own organisation over the next 12 months

You said that general wellbeing of staff is concerning, with a huge level of calls, it was hard to stay positive.

In order to help and offer some advice, we are going to include some mental health information that we are currently using, within our next newsletter.

Challenges within your own organisation over the next 12 months

You stated that another big challenge that organisations are facing is preparation for winter.

NGN will work with partners to support as much as possible. This is the topic for the first Hot Topic workshop of 22/23 on 13th September

Challenges within your own organisation over the next 12 months

You highlighted the low levels of awareness about the water PSR (3%) compared to the energy PSR (20%) and said there is a need to level up for this challenge to ensure vulnerable customers can access a consistent level of support.

Northumbrian Water Ltd hold an annual Innovation Festival PSR sprint that we support annually and is open to all stakeholders. We will share the details of this event with our workshop attendees and encourage them to attend and help us work collaboratively to improve awareness. We have built water PSR referrals into our Making Every Contact Counts (MECC) customer referral process and have made 24 referrals to Northumbrian Water since this started in January 2022. We will look at how we can ensure we continue to make these referrals as we embed this new aspect of MECC across the business.

Further Engagement

You told us you would like us to priorities the following areas:

  • Funding
  • How we signpost families for help
  • Building relationships between strategic partners/ central point for sharing information and best practice
  • PSR
  • Benefits
  • Improving our processes to support vulnerably customer

We are planning a programme of strategic workshops throughout 22/23 to tackle and explore stakeholder priorities in more depth. This will enable us to provide a holistic programme of support for customers in vulnerable situations. Our planned events so far are:

27th May 2022 – Vulnerability and innovation Open Day (Thorpe Park, Leeds – Development Centre)

29th June 2022 – Physical Disability Online Webinar

20th July 2022 – VCMA Annual Showcase (Online)

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