This is the generous group of volunteers who braved the elements by sleeping outside for charity.

A team of kind-hearted South East Water staff were camped on concrete under the stars on Friday, November 23, in a battle against homelessness.

They raised thousands of pounds which will be pledged towards helping homeless and vulnerable people through the company’s Alone at Christmas campaign.

The initiative will also see the firm provide hampers of goodies some of the customers its Care Team has helped during the year.

Customer Care Advisor Vikki Matthews, who joined the sleep out at the company’s Snodland headquarters, said: “We’ve been really touched by some of the stories and decided to go a step further to raise more money to make more hampers to bring a smile to more of our customers.

“The whole company has got behind us and has been really generous.

“Through this work, we get to meet a lot of people who may be spending the festive season on their own. That’s why a couple of years ago we started making up hampers to bring a little cheer and a few special treats.”

The company is also working with The Salvation Army to donate hats, gloves, socks and essentials to people facing Christmas on the streets.

“Throughout the year we are out and about across our supply area helping our customers who may need a little extra support,” Vikki continued.

“We make sure some of our more vulnerable customers get the help they need to understand their letters and bills from us, make sure they are on the right payment tariff and we work with other organisations if they need more support too.

“Where it’s appropriate, we sign people up to the Priority Services Register. This means they get a helping hand, tailored to their needs in case of emergency.”

The Alone at Christmas campaign has been backed by Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch, in whose constituency South East Water’s head office is based.

She said: “I’ve been really impressed with the work South East Water’s Customer Care Team has been doing in helping people who need a little extra.

“Just knowing someone has thought of you can make all the difference at this time of year."


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