A team of employees from Portsmouth Water, calling themselves the PW Tigers, took home three awards last night at the prestigious WaterAid Winnovators Awards. The awards were for Best Social Media, runner up for Best Community Approach and the highlight was winning the main award the Regional Overall Winner for Best Team for Europe and North America.

The Winnovator challenge this year featured 31 teams from the UK, USA, India and Australia. This global challenge saw teams from across the UK, America and Australia choose either a water, sanitation or hygiene-focused problem to overcome using innovative thinking and fresh creative skills. The teams have over the past six months worked hard to find workable solutions to help reach some of the poorest communities in India gain access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as raising funds and awareness of WaterAid in their local communities.

The Portsmouth Water Tigers consisted of six team members from all areas of Portsmouth Water. The team have worked together to develop a multimedia toolkit for children aged 6-14 years old in India to teach and develop their knowledge on hygiene. The toolkit consists of three different lesson plans, a top trumps style card game, handwashing technique and an implementation plan.

Hayley Wakeford, Chair of the Portsmouth Water Tigers, said “Myself and the team are still in a state of shock. I was so proud of the team in raising over £12k for WaterAid, but to be recognized by WaterAid as overall winner for Europe and America is beyond any of our expectations. We are a small team, but our solution was simple and effective and now we are really excited about bringing our ideas to life by working with Portsmouth Water ensuring we have an ongoing legacy of our work.”

Neville Smith, Managing Director of Portsmouth Water, said “This team were up against teams from much larger organisations and resources, so to find that they were named regional winners for Europe and America is just fantastic. This is an outstanding and unique achievement. We are all very proud of what they achieved and this recognition is well deserved for the effort and imagination the team put into this initiative.”