Water saving awareness and charity receive Your Co-op and Water Plus support, at major community event

Thousands of pounds of fundraising for a charity that works with young people has been achieved, when Your Co-op and business water retailer Water Plus teamed-up to provide water at a community event - in awareness-raising activity.

More than 2,000 people took on the 10km multi-terrain course, which takes place in the picturesque parks and gardens across Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The annual event sees money raised for a range of good causes.

Your Co-op and Water Plus highlighted the Young People First charity to those at the event. The charity is based in Warwickshire and undertakes project work with disadvantaged and disaffected young people. In the last 12 months around 350 young people have been helped by the charity.

Jacob Isherwood, from Your Co-op, which is a customer with the business water retailer, said: “One of our Regional Charity Partners, Young People First (YPF), had a stand at the Regency Run in Leamington, and they were keen to engage with the runners at the end of the event. The water bottles carried the charity’s logo, along with a message around water-saving to help raise awareness about the charity and to prompt people to think more about water use and areas water waste can be stopped.

“We’re working with Water Plus around water efficiency audits at a number of our sites as we’re keen to make sure we’re making the most of any water that needs to be used at our business. Water Plus has also helped with our portfolio of sites, so all our data is up to date and accurate, which helps us to see what water is being used and where.”

Messages on the bottles’ printed labels for the event said: “How could you help save water at work and at home? Please recycle this bottle.” 2,000 bottles of water were provided through the support from Water Plus, the largest business water retailer in the UK who has won Gold for Water Management in the Green Apple Environment Awards and Global Gold for Water Management in the Green World Awards 2023. All the bottles were picked up by those completing the multi-terrain event.

Water Plus works with businesses, community sites and the public sector, providing water and wastewater services including billing, account management and water efficiency advice and technical water services.

Your Co-op works continually to reduce its environmental impact and since 2019 has cut its direct greenhouse emissions by 32%, and food waste by 21%, saving over 600,000 food waste items and is one of the first convenience retailers to meet the most recent science-based standards set by the Global climate action organisation (SBTi).

Last year, Your Co-op reduced its energy use by 11% saving 5.2 million kWh’s and a massive 1,000 tonnes of C02e and were winners of the Edie Energy Project of the Year award in 2023.

Jenny Owen, a Key Account Manager with Water Plus that works with Your Co-op, said: “It’s great to have a customer that is so engaged around their water bills – and to be able to raise awareness with them at a big community event, while supporting good causes. We’re working to highlight how we can all make the most of water that’s used and to reduce areas of water waste, which can also help reduce impacts on the environment too.”

Following a review of site charges, Water Plus has helped Your Co-op to save more than £26,000 in a year on charges. In the last year, Your Co-op signed up 43 more sites to be with Water Plus.

Jo Squires, from the charity Young People First, said: “As a small, locally-based charity working with young people facing disadvantage it is not always easy to share our story and raise awareness of our critical work with a wider audience.

“The opportunity to take part in the Regency Run and support finishers with a much needed drink of water, in partnership with Your Co-op and Water Plus, is a potential game changer for us as we will connect with many and can share our story which, in turn, will grow our support network and increase funds.

“Increasing funds enables us to do more to help young people who are struggling, whether it’s with poverty, racial inequality, criminality, child exploitation or all of the above.

“We hope funds raised will enable us to take 12 young people on a three-day residential.”

The charity said more than £2,800 was raised at the event and it engaged with around 2,200 people.

The 10k run started at Newbold Comyn and runners finished at Mill Gardens. Young People First is the Regional charity for the Leamington and Warwick Region at Your Co-op. Jacob Isherwood is Chief Information Officer and leads the Leamington and Warwick Regional Community team, at Your Co-op to support Young People First as a charity partner.

Water Plus is the largest business water retailer in the UK and has won 17 awards since October 2022, including eight Green Apple Environment Awards, Global Gold for Water Management in the Green World Awards, along with a UK Customer Satisfaction Award, in 2023. The awards are for work with organisations around their water use and its steps to increase water efficiency, help reduce water waste and support projects that help communities.

More tips around water-saving, water checks to keep businesses running during the year - and wider benefits from tracking water at sites, are available on our better ways with water pages. Additional actions Water Plus is taking to increase water efficiency and cut carbon emissions are included on our Corporate social responsibility and sustainability pages.

More about the Young People First charity can be found at: www.youngpeoplefirst.org.uk/

Water Plus provides water and wastewater billing and customer service, along with a range of technical water services and information around water efficiency, for organisations of all sizes in England and Scotland, including businesses, community buildings and the public sector. Its main office is based in the Midlands, in Stoke-on-Trent. The 10k event where the water bottles were available was on the 7th April, 2024.

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