Northumbrian Water has launched a charity cash boost initiative and is asking customers to play their part in deciding where future funding goes.

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Tens of thousands of pounds will be donated every year through Northumbrian Water’s new community scheme – Drop Swap – the first of its kind for the company.


The initiative puts customers in the driving seat with deciding where donations to nominated charitable causes go on a bi-monthly basis and all by simply using the utility company’s free app.


Northumbrian Water’s app is available for customers to use around the clock to access services, such as updating their water meter readings and making account payments at a time that suits them. By using the app customers will be rewarded with ‘e-drops’ to vote for their local charity of choice and can nominate other charitable causes to benefit from future support.


Louise Hunter, who is Northumbrian Water’s Corporate Affairs Director, said: “We already support our local communities in many ways – gifting time and expertise via our amazing employee volunteers to donating cash and equipment to community and environmental projects.


“The Drop Swap initiative is a fantastic addition to the great support we give our communities and it will help the charitable causes that matter the most to our customers. The idea originally came from a session with our customers at our 2019 Innovation Festival and so I’m especially pleased to see it brought to life as a great example of how our customers can shape how we deliver our services.


“We want to help as many deserving causes as possible, through this funding channel, across our local communities of the North East. So that’s why I’m urging all of our customers to download and start using our free app to help the causes that are close in their hearts.”


The utility company asked its customers and employees which issues they felt were most important to their communities, and where it could make the most positive difference. The key areas were named as eradicating water poverty, supporting water for health and improving the water environment. 


Charities and projects supporting these three areas will benefit from the Drop Swap fund and will also be offered some help from the company’s employee volunteering programme, Just an Hour.


Northumbrian Water is extending its longstanding working partnership of delivering thousands of pounds worth of project grant funding with the support of the County Durham Community Foundation, who will help to deliver this cash funding boost to charitable causes across the whole of its operating area.


Michelle Cooper, Chief Executive at County Durham Community Foundation, said: “It’s really exciting to see Northumbrian Water bringing its charitable giving right up to date and getting customers involved in the decision making. The foundation has been working with Northumbrian Water for 20 years to create enduring giving that meets ever-changing community needs, and we are proud to be part of this next step.”  


Click here for more information on the company’s Drop Swap initiative and in your android or iOS app store by searching for ‘Northumbrian Water’.


  • The first local charitable causes up for voting until the end of January 2022 are; Feeding Families, Little Sprouts and Oasis Community Housing.
  • Drop Swap bi-monthly total donation of £1,450, which is broken down by first place £750, second £450 and third £250 – with a total of £17,400 being donated to support local charitable causes every year.
  • The company’s employee volunteering programme, Just an Hour, supports its people to give a minimum of 15 hours every year to help community and charitable causes close to their hearts.
  • Who can be nominated for Drop Swap? A valid UK registered charity and groups / organisations (not for profit) with charitable aims and that add value to local communities and economy within our North East operating areas.
  • Funding criteria info on how monies are spent – There is no specific purpose on how money should be spent however, we would encourage funding to be spent on the following focus areas and within our operating areas to help benefit local communities:
    • Eradicating Water Poverty (i.e. supporting foodbanks, homelessness and supporting community skills/training to help people develop and get back into employment)
    • Supporting Water For Health (i.e. link to education / importance of staying hydrated / supporting clean water and sanitation)
    • Improving The Water Environment (i.e. supporting the company’s aim of having the best waterways and beaches in the country, helping to improve the natural environment and biodiversity and supporting with Sustainable Urban Drainage (SuDs) about utilising rainwater more wisely to help reduce the risk of flooding to communities.
  • To find out more on how the company supports its local communities, visit:
  • For more information on County Durham Community Foundation, visit: