Healthworks was developed to improve health & well-being, reduce health inequalities and increase access to local health and community services for the people of Easington Colliery. Located on the site of a former disused building owned by Northumbrian Water, Healthworks delivers a wide range of integrated health and community programmes.
Easington Colliery experiences some of the worst health in England with high rates of smoking, low rates of physical activity and a high proportion of disability benefit claimants. Healthworks was planned, financed, and developed to meet the needs of local people. The Centre focuses on bringing about ‘step’ changes in health, encouraging local participation and removing barriers to access.
The Centre was launched at the end of 2007 and within 12 months was providing over 38 different services. A GP-led walk-in service was introduced in April 2009.
Healthworks provides a host of community services including free online health information, over-50’s physical activity programmes, stop smoking support, food co-operatives, educational courses and many others. These have been warmly received by the local community.
Healthworks has transformed the availability and access of local community based health services. Its success is down to being client-centred and delivering programmes that truly reflect the needs of the local population.
The Healthworks Centre was originally developed by County Durham and Darlington Primary Care Trusts, the Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder and Northumbrian Water, with considerable support from the East Durham Local Strategic Partnership. The aim of the Centre is to improve the health and well-being of local people through providing a range of services and programmes held under one roof.
The Centre, which is based in Easington Colliery, was formerly a derelict building that has now been transformed into a modern facility delivering a wide range of health and community programmes, including a GP-led primary care service which operates 7 days a week from 8.00am to 8.00pm.
We have developed an industry leading partnership with StepChange to support our customers that may be struggling to pay their bill; that includes us as employees. This partnership is the first for utility providers and StepChange is the UK’s largest debt charity – providing free, confidential debt advice and solutions.
This partnership enables us to actively refer our customers to the charity for wider support. Not only will the charity work with our customers to help with their debt problem, they will work on an action plan and debt solution, helping our customers feel at ease with their solution.
How it works
When a customer contacts us regarding their bill and if they highlight that they have a number of debts, or they call to complain about people chasing them for payment we should consider offering this service.
If a customer acknowledges they need help it should be our preference to transfer the customer to StepChange there and then; or we can provide the contact details and let a customer make their own choice if that is what they prefer.
Our advisors who deal with billing enquiries all have a hotkey on their Siemens phone system to transfer customers directly to StepChange.
Alternatively customers and our employees can call the freephone number for StepChange 0800 138 1111 (also free from a mobile telephone).
They are open from 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 4pm on a Saturday.
Customers can also visit the StepChange website by clicking here.
Northumbrian Water has committed to raise £1 million for its adopted international charity partner, WaterAid, which improves access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in 37 countries.
Our CEO Heidi Mottram recently took part in a WaterAid supporters trip to Malawi. Heidi witnessed first hand the importance of sustainability, and how WaterAid are working to educate communities to make sure that the water supply and sanitation measures they have helped to put in place will last and improve over time. This in turn is empowering communities and is safeguarding the facilities for future generations.
Why have we set this challenge?
• Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation.
• Around 1,400 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
• Over 750 million people are without safe water, or one in 10 in the world.
• 2.5 billion people are without adequate sanitation, or 39% of the world's population.
The country to benefit from these vital, life-changing funds is Madagascar.
The island, which is the fourth largest in the world and lies off the south east coast of Africa, has a population of almost 25 million. 10.9 million people don’t have access to a tap and 18 million don’t have access to a safe and private toilet.
Andrew Blakemore, Northumbrian WaterAid’s chairman, said: “4,000 children die every year in Madagascar from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. This is totally unacceptable in this day and age and we’re determined to do something about it.
“We held our annual Northumbrian WaterAid Ball in June and the £25,500 that we have raised is the start of our £1 million commitment to Madagascar.
“WaterAid doesn’t only provide taps, toilets and hygiene education. It enables children to go to school and to play, as they don’t have to walk miles and miles to collect water that they know will make them and their families ill. It helps communities to grow by empowering them and building their skills so they can become self-sufficient. It campaigns to change policy. It gives people a hope, a future.
“I am so proud and excited that we are going to continue to give people life. By choosing a specific country we will be able to see tangible benefits from specific projects in specific communities. I want to thank our customers, WaterAid partners and employees who already help us to raise vital funds and look forward to helping some of the poorest people in the world together.”
The money will be raised through various events, sporting activities, a WaterAid lottery, donations and partnerships.
Ernest Randriarimalala, who lives in Madagascar and is WaterAid’s Voices from the Field Officer in the country, has recently visited the North East and attended the annual Northumbrian WaterAid Ball. He met many of the volunteers, partners and Northumbrian Water employees who will help to give the communities that he works in a tap, toilet and hygiene education.
Ernest, who is 37, said: “When I was a little boy I had to spend lots of time collecting unsafe water for my family. The buckets were very heavy to carry and I had to climb a steep slope which was dangerous when it rained, as it became very slippery. I know how children feel when they have to do the same for their families today. I remember going to the toilet behind a building and the smell was horrible and you had to be very careful where you put your feet.
“This is the third time I have visited the UK and it is my second visit to the North East. I love the North East! When I was in my hotel I spent hours in the bath – it was incredible to have running hot and cold water!
“I think what Northumbrian Water has committed to do is amazing, as it will change the lives of so many people in my country. I thank them, their customers and partners from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful.”
Please take a look at these WaterAid videos