United Utilities taps into the fountain of youth

United Utilities has announced it is joining forces with Youth Focus North West to gain a better understanding of the issues that interest its future customers and to bring the voice of youth into its business.

The company is currently seeking customer views on its business plan for the next five years.

Youth Focus North West is the regional strategic partner of the British Youth Council, a youth-led charity that empowers young people aged 25 and under to influence and inform the decisions that affect their lives. Youth Focus North West runs Youthforia, the region’s youth forum which comprises representatives from every local authority area across the region.

In October, United Utilities attended the Youthforia conventions in Blackburn and Preston to ask the assembled youth councillors to choose the top three water issues that were most important to young people. The group prioritised climate change impacts (such as flooding), fatbergs and affordability.

Sarah Biddulph, from United Utilities, said: “We had great discussions at the Youthforia conventions and are excited by the issues that the young people present suggested. Young people today are our customers tomorrow so we want to engage with them now to find out what matters to them and work out how together we can tackle some of the challenges that face our industry.”

Elizabeth Harding, chief executive of Youth Focus North West, said: "We are excited to be working with United Utilities to give young people the opportunity to have both a voice and influence in areas that have a huge impact on their lives. It’s fantastic that United Utilities sees the value in engaging with young people now and as future customers.”

This partnership with Youth Focus is just the beginning of United Utilities’ plans to engage with young people in the North West. In November the company is hoping to run a workshop at the Liverpool City Region Youth Assembly on the subject of affordability in support of the UK Youth Parliament’s Curriculum for Life initiative.

To find out more contact the United Utilities Press Office on 0345 072 0822.

Notes for Editors

United Utilities
United Utilities is the UK’s largest listed water company and manages the regulated water and waste water network in North West England – which includes Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside with a combined population of nearly seven million. United Utilities' headquarters are in Warrington. Its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 100 Index. In 2017 the company was awarded World Class Status in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the tenth year in succession.

Youth Focus North West
Youth Focus North West works across the North West of England supporting local authorities and organisations that work with young people. It runs Youthforia, the North West Youth Forum and UK Youth Parliament in the North West, in partnership with the British Youth Council. It is supporting the development of youth voice in the devolved city regions - Manchester and Liverpool.