Water workers hit the phones for Children in Need

For the eighth year in a row, staff members more used to taking calls about water meters, bills or leaking pipes will be giving up their evening to take cash donations and pledges from the public from 6.30pm until half-past-midnight. They will also be joined from staff involved in other parts of the business, including accountants, business managers and network technicians.

Each year Children in Need uses the call centres of organisations and businesses from around the country to boost the number of lines available for public donations.

Veolia Water is again the only water company involved and is one of 54 call centres taking part nationwide.

Ian Hankin, Veolia Water's Resources and Planning Manager, who organises the company's operation on the night, said he was expecting a busy time:

"We are proud to be involved with Children in Need and many staff give up their time to volunteer and take part. On average, we expect to handle around 2,000 calls during the evening, and could be taking around £100,000 in total donations.

"We always have the show running on all the large screens in the customer centre, so we can see what's going on and be prepared for any peaks in calls. Whenever the telephone number is shown on the TV or a celebrity makes a personal appeal, the calls go mad.

This year Veolia Water call volunteers are expecting to be handling pledges mainly from the BBC Three Counties Radio area, although they could be from further afield.

The largest amount any one caller has previously pledged to the contact centre is £9,000.

Staff will be sporting "spotty" clothing, in honour of Pudsey Bear, Children in Need's familiar mascot. In addition, staff will be organising cake sales, quizzes and tombolas to boost the cash donations.

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact Sue Pavey or Becky Martin on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: [email protected], website:www.veoliawater.co.uk/news

About us

Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.