Three local charities are set to receive cash donations thanks to a new initiative by Essex & Suffolk Water.

Sanctus Homeless charity, Thurrock Foodbank and Lowestoft foodbank are all set to benefit from the funding after thousands of ESW customers took part in the company’s cash boost scheme ‘Drop Swap’.


Over 254,000 virtual points, or ‘e-drops’ were donated by customers to the chosen charities over the last two-month voting period using the utility company’s free customer service app.  With each e-drop then being turned into cash funding for each of the charities.


In first place, receiving over 104,000 e-drops, was Sanctus Homeless Charity in Chelmsford – with Thurrock Foodbank and Lowestoft Foodbank also receiving thousands of customer votes. All three causes will receive a cash donation and be offered support through the company’s employee volunteering programme, Just an Hour. 


Emma Murfitt, Fundraising Manager at Sanctus said: “We are so pleased to have come first place in Essex & Suffolk Water’s Drop Swap charity incentive and to have received £750 of funding.


“This funding will go towards supporting our frontline services at Sanctus, which includes our café and Support Hub, which are there to help homeless and vulnerable people in Chelmsford and surrounding areas.


“Thank you so much to Essex & Suffolk Water for involving us in this charity incentive and to everyone who voted for us!”   


The app is  for customers to use around the clock to access services, such as updating water meter readings and making account payments. Customers will be rewarded with e-drops to vote for their local charity of choice when using the app and can nominate other charitable causes to benefit from future support. 


Drop Swap will see tens of thousands of pounds being donated every year with customers deciding where the funding goes.  


The next round of funding is up for grabs with three new nominated charities, Thames Chase Trust, Essex Wildlife Trust and Suffolk Wildlife Trust.


The water company is asking customers for their nominations for charities that focus on health, the environment and financial support across Essex, Suffolk and London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge. Nominations can be submitted through their website here:


For more information about Drop Swap, visit and download our free app from your android or iOS app store by searching for ‘Essex & Suffolk Water’.



  • 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 Essex, Suffolk and London Borough (Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge) 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:
  • o 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.
  • To find out more on how the company supports its local communities, visit:
  • For more information on Essex Community Foundation, visit: