World Kidney Day and beyond.

Blog World Kidney Day

On World Kidney Day, we look at how our partnership with Kidney Care UK is helping make a difference where it counts.

This 14 March, people all over the globe will unite in doing their bit to promote kidney health education. On the agenda this year is highlighting the importance of early detection and prevention strategies for kidney disease.

World Kidney Day 2024 is a global campaign raising awareness of how vital our kidneys are to our overall health, whilst striving to reduce the impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems. The key focus is on equal access to quality kidney care, fostering research advancements, and empowering people to take proactive measures to safeguard their kidney health for a better, healthier future. Find out more about World Kidney Day.

The importance of getting support.

One in ten of us are affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the impact it can have on our lives can be devastating. The condition affects our physical and mental wellbeing and like so many other serious illnesses, can very quickly turn our lives upside down. When it came to supporting our customers, we wanted to do everything in our power to help. By teaming up with Kidney Care UK we’ve been able to offer additional help to people living with kidney disease, including people who undertake their life saving dialysis at home. Hear a bit more about Kidney Care UK and the vital work they do.

Why it’s so important, from someone who knows.

When it comes to helping our customers and especially the support needed around kidney disease, no one is better qualified than our very own Energy Specialist and Team Leader, Lucy Wright. Here, Lucy shares her incredible story from life changing kidney transplant to supporting medically vulnerable customers:

“I was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a type of kidney disease, at just 20 years old. My father had struggled with the same disease for a long time before getting a kidney transplant. For 15 years after my diagnosis my own kidney function declined, until falling catastrophically to just 7%. 

I am so incredibly grateful that a member of my family was willing and able to step forward and become a donor for me - just as their own sister had done for my father years before. I was 36 when the transplant was successfully performed, and I cannot describe how much it has improved my quality of life. My kidney function is currently at around 50%, which is just astounding compared to where I was before.

However, a transplant is a treatment, not a cure. Many people don’t realise and think that once a donor has been found the journey is over. I will need to take powerful medications for the rest of my life, that can have serious side effects. But there’s no question that without having the transplant I wouldn't have got to experience the life I have now - and I am so thankful for this gift.

My kidney transplant was the start of a new journey. At times it can be tough, but it can also be joyful, fun, and full of love. Despite all the difficulties I have overcome and continue to battle against every day, I have a fantastic life. I am blessed to have a great family support system, a wonderful and loving fiancé, and a beautiful stepdaughter. And now, at E.ON Next, I have also been given the opportunity to give back by supporting people like me who are struggling with ongoing medical issues.

I started at E.ON Next in 2021, after a period of job uncertainty during the pandemic. Despite being completely new to working in energy, after 7 months I was promoted from Energy Specialist to Team Leader in our Residential Operations. After working on a few projects across a couple of different teams, I was asked to help start the Nottingham Gems team who I still work with today.

Gem stands for ‘Going the Extra Mile’, and that describes our team through and through. We provide support to vulnerable customers who are on the Priority Services Register. These customers often have medical conditions or terminal illnesses that require a little more love and care to ensure they are fully supported by us as an energy company. We are fortunate enough to be able to work with incredible partner organisations that can offer advice and support beyond energy - from financial counselling to home energy efficiency. I am so proud of the team we have created.

The Priority Services Register has been an invaluable tool in helping us to identify customers who could benefit from our support. We were able to spot the collective need and create the dedicated Nottingham Gem team. Every single member of our team really lives up to its name - going the extra mile for customers every day. Being able to reach out and provide this much needed service is truly so fulfilling, and I am so privileged to be part of a team where we’ve been able to make a real difference to help others in their times of need.

I love that E.ON Next has partnered with Kidney Care UK, as I deeply understand how valuable that support can be. I wish that I had known that my energy provider could have supported me and my family. I didn’t know who to turn to and I love the fact that I can give that information to our customers and pass that on to them, so that they can benefit from the support that the charity offers. 

It’s little details, like when I am talking to a customer with kidney disease and knowing exactly what that bone chilling coldness is that they feel if they have Anaemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD). That it’s not just ‘having cold hands and feet’, but how that really does affect you on a day to day basis and what can be done to help. A small thing like that can make a massive difference, with the reassurance that the person you are speaking to actually gets it and understands.

Being a part of the Nottingham Gems from the very beginning has been an absolute privilege. I am so grateful I can pay forward the support and generosity I received throughout my transplant and beyond by helping others going through such similar challenges as me.”

Our Priority Services Register.

If you’re a vulnerable customer and feel like you need some extra help with managing your energy account, you may benefit from our Priority Services Register (PSR). You can add yourself to the register or update your circumstances any time through your online account or by emailing us at hi@eonnext.com.

When you’re on the PSR, there are extra things we can do for you to make life easier:

  • We can give you access to extra support through specially trained Vulnerability Teams, including direct assistance with energy bills.

  • If your energy supply stops unexpectedly, we’ll prioritise reconnecting you straight away.

  • If you’re struggling to read your bill or statement, let us know and we can help.

  • You can choose someone to look after your account for you. If they’re happy to do this, we’ll send them your bills or statements.

  • If you’re worried about security, you can choose a password our team will use to identify themselves.

Speech or hearing impaired customers can also put 18001 in front of our phone number, 0808 501 5200, to use text relay at no extra cost if you'd prefer to contact us by phone. You can find out more on the Relay UK website.  

The power of support.

World Kidney Day is such an important and valuable initiative, in helping us come together to learn more about kidney disease and support those living with the condition. The charities and organisations that provide help here are vital.

We’re so proud to be working with Kidney Care UK, to help provide guidance and assistance to people navigating their way through such a challenging part of their lives. We’re also immensely proud of Lucy and her team for all they are doing to help, and we thank Lucy especially for sharing her story with us. It shows how kidney disease can affect us all - and that when it comes to support everyone (even an energy company) has a role to play.

Feel the Community power.

The E.ON Next Community is a space for customers just like you, to share experiences and offer a helping hand. Find support or suggest your own unique topics, plus get involved in discussions of all the latest news.

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Published 14/03/2024