Water company United Utilities has injected £3.5m into a trust fund to help people who struggle to pay their water bills.
The figure will be distributed in the form of grants to help people out of water debt, and also to support local organisations who can deliver money advice.
The independent United Utilities Trust Fund is overseen by unpaid trustees and was set up to help relieve poverty and support people in crisis. Additional discretionary grants can also be made in exceptional circumstances.
Michelle Atkinson, the company’s head of income urged people not to suffer in silence if worried about the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 restrictions on their finances.
“In the current circumstances, it’s likely that even people who have never been in debt before may find themselves struggling with bills. We absolutely can help.
“Making this donation is a good time to remind water bill payers in the North West that they have access to more types of financial support than just about anywhere else in the UK.”
Other schemes the company offers include payment breaks and a special tariff to help people with disabilities who need to use large amounts of water.
“Ideally we want to start helping people early enough so that they never actually fall behind with their bills. The North West has 50 per cent of the most deprived areas in the UK and, there are many ways that we can help. My advice is ‘don’t wait’. Talk to us if you are worried,” said Michelle.
For more information about United Utilities Trust Fund, and how to apply, visit uutf.org.uk
For details about the full range of United Utilities support which may be available to you, search United Utilities struggling to pay on the internet or visit https://www.unitedutilities.com/my-account/your-bill/difficulty-paying-your-bill/