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Water wise West Cumbria folk net £25,000 for Hospice at Home

Image creatives from United Utilities’ social media campaign featuring socially distanced staff from Hospice at Home West Cumbria thanking local people for their support.

People in West Cumbria have tapped into a £25,000 cash boost for the area’s hospice – by saving over 150 million litres of water.

The money comes after an innovative summer water saving campaign where United Utilities pledged support for a valued local charity in return for people being more water efficient.

Staff at Hospice at Home West Cumbria say the cash is more vital than ever after coronavirus restrictions meant many traditional fund-raising events were cancelled.

Over the course of the campaign, United Utilities water saving messages reached more than 87,000 people and the area’s most popular pledge was to ditch the hosepipe for a watering can.

United Utilities’ customer director Lou Beardmore, said the campaign, which achieved a great response from local people on social media, encouraged people to save water by converting their public pledges and actions into cash for a cause close to the community’s heart.

“To be honest we didn’t know how well it would work, but we were blown away by the positive response, with people making pledges and sharing tips using the hashtag #cumbriasavewater. Even though the weather turned wetter and local lockdown restrictions came into force, people pulled out all the stops to hit the target of saving 150 million litres.

“We were only asking people to save 15 litres each a day by doing really simple things like turning off the tap while brushing their teeth. But what really seems to have made it personal for people was linking their positive community action to a charity close to their hearts. Hospice at Home and their staff have been amazing getting the message out there to their supporters and leading by example. People in Allerdale and Copeland clearly think they deserve every penny and that’s what they’ve got.

“Well done West Cumbria. Thanks to you, the hospice has picked up some much-needed money at a difficult time and I am sure we’ll be doing it again in future.”

Hospice at Home West Cumbria’s Community Fundraising Team Lead Stella Walsh said everyone at the organisation had thrown themselves behind the campaign.

“We are thrilled that people in West Cumbria supported this campaign and helped us to achieve the water saving target. Our social media campaign had a great reach and our staff and volunteers were proud to share pictures of themselves and their families saving water to help us boost the campaign further. This donation is so gratefully received after such a difficult year.

“Thank you to everyone who helped us, this incredible amount that will ensure we can continue to provide our services to patients and their families who need our support.”