Adur and Worthing residents offered support with water bills

Released: Thursday, 22 June 2023

Adur & Worthing Councils is working with Southern Water and the TellJO service to contact 5,000 of the most in-need residents to help them get even more support with the cost of living. 

From this week TellJo, a Shoreham-based company, will begin contacting residents in Adur and Worthing who access Council Tax support and Housing Benefit to try to identify those vulnerable to debt and find ways to tackle the root causes of the problem. 

The TellJO service works by sending a text message, email or phone call to residents identified as at risk of debt to check if they are okay. Respondents are then asked to complete a short online wellbeing assessment to understand the issues they are facing and what can be done about it.

Anyone that requests support with their water bills will then be contacted by Southern Water to see if they are eligible for additional assistance, including access to a hardship fund, discounts on their bills or to agree a payment scheme. 

Depending on their individual needs, residents will also be signposted to organisations that can offer specialised support with debt advice, energy bills and help with issues including mental health conditions, drug or alcohol problems, or domestic abuse. 

The project is part of the Councils' Proactive initiative, which uses pioneering database technology to help us identify at an early stage people who may not be coping financially, so that we can offer appropriate help quickly and efficiently.

Cllr Kevin Boram, Adur's Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said:

“TellJO enables us to identify and reach those who may be struggling so we can help them as quickly as possible. We have been partnering with local company TellJO since November and have already helped lots of people set up fair payment plans, access support or apply for benefits they are entitled to. It's great to see companies like Southern Water engaging with the scheme.”

Cllr Carl Walker, the Deputy Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:

“Many people are still struggling with the increased cost of living and may not be aware of all of the help available. The TellJO service offers a holistic approach that focuses not only on missed payments, but lets people know where to get support with the wider causes of debt.”

Dominic Maxwell, founder of TellJO, said:

“We are thrilled to work with Adur & Worthing Councils and Southern Water. Our goal is to proactively help residents facing hardship access the support and reduced tariffs they need. Through the TellJO digital wellbeing assessment, we engage with residents and guide them towards positive outcomes."

Katy Taylor, Southern Water's Chief Customer Officer, said:

“We hope as a result of working with Adur and Worthing Councils and TellJO we are able to support more of our customers who may be struggling to pay their bills. We want customers to be aware of the range of support packages we have available to help them.”

To find out more about accessing help from Southern Water see:

Or for information on help available with the cost of living see:

Tap running water (Canva photo)

(PR23-082)

Back to top

Page last updated: 20 February 2024

Back to top