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Helping young people to save on their water bills

Young people leaving care will soon be able to save money on their household bills thanks to an agreement between Derbyshire County Council and one of the UK’s largest water companies. 

The council has joined Severn Trent’s ‘Big Difference Scheme’ which can help customers on a low income and struggling to pay their water charges. 

Under the move discounts will be extended to young care leavers aged between 18 and 24 reducing their average yearly water bill by 70 per cent when they leave care. 

The scheme goes live this month and is available to care leavers living in areas of Derbyshire supplied by Severn Trent who will be supported by their Leaving Care Workers to access the savings.   

DCC’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Safeguarding Councillor Julie Patten said: “Young people leaving care can be particularly vulnerable when they move to independent accommodation to live on their own as well as fully manage their own money for the first time. 

“The challenges of running a home and budgeting while continuing education or looking for a job is a lot to cope with so seeing where we could help with bills, particularly during a cost of living crisis, was a priority and we’re delighted to team up with Severn Trent to be able to offer care leavers a discount on their water charges. 

Severn Trent External Relationship Manager Mark Grice said: “We understand the importance of helping care leavers successfully transition to independent living and we’re pleased and proud to have developed this partnership with Derbyshire County Council.” 

Not all young people leaving care will be able to access this particular discount as part of the High Peak for example has water supplied by United Utilities. 

A spokesperson for DCC said: “Whilst this is an agreement we have secured with Severn Trent which services most of the county, we will continue to work on behalf of young people leaving care to give them access to any support they may need to transition successfully to their independent adult lives.” 

Two years ago an agreement was reached between DCC and the county’s eight district and borough councils to give all care leavers aged up to 25 a full council tax discount. 

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