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Older customers encouraged to sign up for extra support 

Thursday 19th November 2020 14:00

An older lady at her front door receiving a bottled water delivery

Thames Water and Age UK Berkshire have teamed up to encourage older customers to join Thames Water’s priority services register.

Following a successful pilot, Age UK Berkshire is adding Thames Water’s priority service registration form to its information and advice line service. This will make it easier for the charity’s service users to receive extra support in emergencies. 

Thames Water customers who are living with long-term health conditions, mobility issues or qualify for a state pension can join the company’s free priority services register – a secure database of customers who would struggle to get by should their home’s water supply be disrupted. 

In such circumstances, priority service customers are contacted by Thames Water’s care team for bottled water deliveries directly to their homes if they are unable to get to a collection hub. The system also gives them advanced warning of planned work which may risk an interruption to their water supply and provides tailored communication services.

The joint project aims to help up to 500 Age UK Berkshire service users a year sign up to the register.  

Olivia Johnson, partnerships lead at Thames Water, said: “We aim to keep our taps running every day of the year, however many of our older customers might need an extra helping hand if something goes wrong with their water supply and we have support measures in place to help them if it does.

“Working in partnership with Age UK Berkshire is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to those customers who may not have access to the internet or prefer accessing advice on the phone to encourage them to sign up to our priority services.” 

Fiona Price, Age UK Berkshire chief executive, said: “The Thames Water priority service is really beneficial for the older people we support and by working together our aim is to make sure that older people have access to this valuable service should they need it.” 

Douglas, 93, an Age UK Berkshire service user from Reading, added: “I thought I would never need this service that Age UK Berkshire helped sign me up to. But we had a recent issue with water supply in my area and Thames Water called me and delivered water directly to my door. I didn’t need to worry, it was a great help.”

Thames Water has 84,000 customers on its priority services register and plans to increase it to 410,000 by 2025. 

Customers can find out if they qualify for the priority services register (PSR) and sign up by visiting its dedicated webpage or calling 0800 009 3652. 

Thames Water has also partnered with the Renal Association and National Kidney Federation to encourage people living with kidney disease to sign up to the PSR. 

Age UK Berkshire provides help services and support to older people. Find out more by visiting Age UK Berkshire website or by calling 0118 959 4242.