Colleagues from across the organisation have come together to donate wool whilst keen knitters have put their skills to good use and knitted the woolly hand warmers, which have been decorated with different objects of all different shapes and sizes, textures and colours, as part of the company’s pledge to support its vulnerable customers.

The first batch of 100 twiddle muffs has been distributed by Wales & West Utilities to NHS Trusts and organisations which help to care for elderly people and those living with dementia.

The company helped answer a national plea to knit more the twiddle muffs provide a source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation. Recent NHS guidelines have said that people living with dementia often have restless hands, and like to have something – like twiddle muffs, to keep their hands occupied.

This is part of the work that Wales & West Utilities is undertaking to assist customers who may be living with dementia. Last year saw its Dementia Friends Champion, Juliet Collier, host several information sessions for over 60 of the company’s customer-facing colleagues to learn more about the illness and to help them understand what it's like to live with dementia and the actions they can take in their work.

Juliet explains:

“We’re proud of the work we are doing to help those in our community who need us most and are delighted to have been able to knit over 100 twiddle muffs for those people who are living with dementia.

“In our line of work we deal with vulnerable customers every day and by understanding first-hand the issues that individuals experience helps us, as a business, to put in place the appropriate measures and actions to make sure their needs are met.”

Wales & West Utilities has recently become the first gas network to have been recognised for meeting requirements, in line with British Standard 18477, for its work to help vulnerable customers.

BS 18477 is a voluntary standard and one that has been identified as something all gas and electricity companies should be working towards. It is designed specifically to help organisations identify consumers and adapt their services to be inclusive and accessible to everyone. It recognises that all consumers are different with a wide range of needs, abilities and personal circumstances and that these differences can put some consumers in a position of vulnerability or disadvantage during certain transactions and communications.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.