People across East Lancashire who saved more than 100million litres of water during an initiative led by United Utilities have helped to raise £25,000 for a hospice.

United Utilities customers in Blackburn took part in an innovative three-month water saving campaign earlier this year in which the water company pledged support for the East Lancashire Hospice in return for people being more water efficient.

Staff at the Hospice say the cash is more vital than ever after coronavirus restrictions meant many traditional fund-raising events were cancelled.

United Utilities’ customer director Lou Beardmore, said the campaign, which achieved a great response from people on social media, encouraged customers to save water by converting their public pledges and actions into cash for a cause close to the community’s heart.

She said: "We were blown away by the positive response, with people making pledges and sharing tips using the hashtag #blackburnsavewater.

"Even though the weather turned wetter and local lockdown restrictions came into force, people pulled out all the stops to hit the target of saving 100million litres.

“We were only asking people to save 10 litres each a day by doing really simple things like turning off the tap while brushing their teeth.

"But what really seems to have made it personal for people was linking the action to a charity close to their hearts.

"The East Lancashire Hospice and their staff have been amazing getting the message out to their supporters, and people in Blackburn clearly think they deserve every penny.

“Thanks to them the hospice has picked up some much-needed money at a difficult time and I am sure we’ll be doing it again in future.”

Over the course of the campaign, United Utilities water saving messages reached nearly 78,000 people and the town’s most popular pledge was to switch off the tap while brushing teeth – an action which typically saves 12 litres of water.

East Lancashire Hospice income generation lead, Sharon Crymble, said everyone at the organisation had thrown themselves behind the campaign: “This is fantastic news and we can’t express enough how grateful we are to the people of Blackburn who got behind this campaign to save water and help us achieve the target for this outstanding donation.

"Our income has dropped dramatically through the pandemic, especially as we have had to stop all our events and usual fundraising activity, but of course we still rely on funds to care for our patients.

"A huge thank you too, to the employees of United Utilities who chose the Hospice as their charity to support, each and every one of you are making a difference and for that we thank you.”