Meet the team

We’re a friendly and creative team, enthusiastic and passionate about what we do. Our media experts have a wide variety of press experience and over 20 years' in the water industry.

To contact our media office, please email or call 0333 00 00 365.

Jo Osborn – Head of Communications

I’ve been working in the water industry in one role or another for more than 15 years now. A career in water suits me as I graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in Geography with Development Studies, so I’ve always had an interest in rivers, climate and all things water.

Initially working in IT, I moved on to communications in 2005, joining the South East Water team in 2009 and became Head of Communications in 2013. I’m an Accredited Practitioner with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Obsessed with talking about water I have the pleasure of a job that involves just that on a daily basis. I’m lucky to work with a team of colleagues who are as passionate as I am about South East Water and tap water in general. We are here to help our community get to know more about what happens behind the scenes to ensure great water is delivered to their tap every day.

In my spare time I enjoy open water swimming (of course), long walks and camping.

Christine King – Campaign and Media Manager

With years of experience behind me having started out in journalism in 1977, I am one of the more mature members of the team trying to keep up with this new digital world which includes trying to ‘like’ everyone.

A trained journalist, having worked on some national newspaper headlining stories, then experiencing life on the water as press officer for the Port of Dover plus P&O European Ferries, my next port of call was BT where I was lucky enough to be at the forefront promoting the new technology which has changed all our lives such as mobile phones. Not so glamourous was my stint at the NHS where Swine Flu was my main comms focus.

So here I am once again promoting water having arrived as a consultant towards the end of 2011 and joining the team in April 2012 where I am now Campaign and Media Manager. And yes, the enthusiasm I show when an incident is underway or when we are playing host at our open days does continue when I am home with my lovely family.

Joanna Shippey – Community Engagement Manager

Growing up I always wanted to work in the media and spent my spare time recording TV and radio shows with friends - thankfully these were on tape so very few recordings still exist! But it was while studying for my degree at Canterbury Christ Church University when I fell in love with radio. After staying on a further year to complete a Masters in Broadcast Journalism I freelanced for a year before landing a full time job at KMFM reading the breakfast news across Kent’s airwaves.

After five years of waking up the county I retired my ‘radio voice’ and immersed myself in the world of water, starting at South East Water in 2010 as Communications Coordinator. Six years later I hung up my high vis and went off to the big smoke to work in the press office at Transport for London handling the policing and road safety brief.

Despite being involved in some of the capital’s most high profile stories, water was never far from my mind and I’m now back as Community Engagement Manager! I get a buzz explaining to customers and stakeholders all the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes to get water from source to tap.

When I’m not thinking about water you can find me binge watching the latest crime drama, dreaming of holidays or enjoying bike rides along the north Kent coast.

Laura Adlington – Digital Manager

After graduating with a first class degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2007, I began my career in the world of online publishing. Spurred on by a growing interest in the digital world, I joined South East Water in January 2015. Now, as the company’s Digital Manager, it’s my job to look after all of the company’s digital assets – including web, video and social media.

PRINCE-2 certified, I’ve spent most of the past year project-managing and working on six new websites. I feel really fortunate to be able to say I love my job. I’m a big advocate of the 'content is king' approach. My experience (and passion) lies mainly in website redesign/rebranding, content strategy, content management and social media strategy.

A bit of a foodie, when I’m not at work you can usually find me at home with a spatula (or a glass of wine) in hand. I’ve also mastered the art of binge-watching random TV shows and then wondering where my weekends have gone. Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are my personal favourites, so no spoilers please!

Sarah Crowdy – Communications Officer

After 15 years as a journalist on newspapers across Kent I entered the world of public relations, first in the social housing sector and now in the wonderful world of water.

My passion for writing is matched by my enthusiasm for promoting the amazing work South East Water does every day – from producing safe, top-quality drinking water to preventing interruptions to supplies and protecting the environment.

I particularly enjoy finding new ways to showcase South East Water’s special projects and getting customers and stakeholders involved. This has included taking the Customer Metering Programme right to the heart of the communities we serve, as well as highlighting the complex work involved in preventing and detecting leaks and bursts.

In my spare time I love to travel, but I can also be found gardening when the weather allows or engrossed in a newspapers, current affairs programmes or the latest editions of Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar – quite often with a glass of Champagne to hand.

Stephanie Ellis - Communications Officer

My focus is on engaging with our Kent customers through community events including open days, community talks and drop-in sessions for local engineering schemes.

I joined the South East Water team in 2016 after similar roles in the housing and education sectors. I've been heavily involved in the roll out of our new Pure Know H2ow brand since I joined – a challenge I've really enjoyed.

An Associate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, I have a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing and a 2.1 in Religious Studies from the University of Kent, where I started my working life. 

My experience lies in stakeholder engagement, event management and literature design, and I particularly enjoy getting out and about meeting our customers and stakeholders.

When not at work, I regularly practice yoga and I love cooking and spending time outdoors.

Lauren Whitcombe – Communications Officer

I spent most of my teenage years training to be a professional ballet dancer, however after deciding this wasn’t the career for me I attended Staffordshire University, graduating in 2012 with a degree in Music Journalism and Broadcasting.

After four years at SES Water, working as a customer service advisor and then communications coordinator, I joined South East Water in 2016. My experience is in community engagement, and working closely with the engineering team to deliver PR for our Capital Programme schemes in the company’s Eastern Region. I also have a passion for social media and am working to progress my skills in video making/editing.

I love to travel so when I’m not at work you’ll usually find me dreaming about/planning my next holiday, trying my hand at a new exotic recipe in the kitchen or napping – another passion of mine.

Joe Lane – Communications Co-ordinator

After attending Bath Spa University I joined South East Water in 2016. While I started off in customer services, I am now a proud member of our Communications team. Having read English Literature, I have always had an interest in the written and spoken word, and am now fortunate enough to work within communications and media on a corporate level.

I enjoy speaking with customers and sharing knowledge of the water industry, whether this be over the phone, or at a site visit to one of our engineering schemes. I like to have a hands-on approach to any task that I do, and am encouraged when I see customers have the ‘light-bulb’ moment in relation to our most precious commodity.

As I was growing up I wanted to be many things: taller, older, and wiser. Having achieved two of the three so far, I feel I may one day accomplish all three.

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