As we move into the season of shorter days, darker nights and colder weather, the UK is coming to grips with the complexities of a multi-tier regional lockdown system.
During these uncertain and often confusing times, it is my pledge to every one of our 11 million customers that Cadent will continue to be there for them, whatever the weather, whatever the time and whatever the tier.
As Britain’s largest gas distribution network, Cadent is recognised by Government, along with other energy networks, as a critical industry which needs to keep operating throughout the coronavirus emergency.
As we have continued to do since the first lockdown in March, our gas emergency service will keep on responding to call-outs 24-7. We’ll also keep on laying the energy foundations of the future with our gas mains replacement programme as well as taking forward cutting edge research and development in regard to future energy solutions.
And people can rest easy in the knowledge that our staff will continue to be equipped with the right PPE and that they will follow all appropriate government guidelines to ensure everybody’s safety, be they in the office or out and about.
Unlike other companies we opted not to furlough staff, and this remains our intention.
Of course, we’ve had to adapt the way we do things in line with the current situation.
Wherever possible our staff are continuing to work from home with video calls and remote working being the current norm for many of our employees, instead of the office.
With unemployment and layoffs rising as a consequence of the economic slowdown, Cadent continues to recruit for all manner of roles.
Since the start of April 2020, we’ve hired 1,235 new people, including 92 apprentices, adapting our joining process to fit in with the new way of working.
As the initial lockdown back in March showed what may seem like the worst of times can bring out the best in human nature and in our employees. We’re continuing to do what we can to help out our communities with a range of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) related activities.
At a time when charities have struggled with falling donations the Cadent Foundation has paid out £465,000 in grants to many charities and organisations supporting both the NHS and some of the most vulnerable people living in the communities we serve.
We’re looking forward to sharing more about our charitable activities in the near future, which should help support the communities we serve during these difficult times.
We also continue to support our staff who wish to undertake a variety of voluntary work in our communities. Earlier this year we participated in a scheme to give all our staff the opportunity to take an additional two days of paid leave a month, to help out with national coronavirus effort. This saw our staff help out with things such as the delivery of much needed food and medicine.
I want Cadent to be very much a local business sharing in the good times as well as the tough times with our communities and playing our part in helping to build a brighter future for us all beyond coronavirus.
At a time when good news may seem in short supply, it is my pledge to every one of you that Cadent will continue to work, 24-7, to keep every home, business and community facility on our network safe and warm, whilst creating new jobs and investing in the communities we serve. I believe, if we keep working together, we can overcome the challenges the months ahead will bring and progress towards a better future.