Northern Powergrid’s digital animation campaign to recognise the people behind the electricity distribution network that is powering homes, hospitals and critical services across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire during the pandemic has reached more than 600,000 customers in its first two weeks with more than 500,000 people going on to watch it.
Narrated by nine-year old Amy Kerrigan the daughter of one of Northern Powergrid’s key workers, the ‘Powering our Lives’ campaign highlights how the network operator is working 24/7 to manage the infrastructure that keeps the electricity flowing to 8 million customers in 3.9 million homes and businesses.
The animation shows how Northern Powergrid is using working practices, based on expert medical advice, so it can continue to keep its network of more than 63,000 substations and 60,000 miles of overhead and underground cables operating safely. It also reminds customers that its people are key workers in their community and should only be approached in an electricity emergency, ensuring a minimum two metre distance is maintained.
Rod Gardner, who is Northern Powergrid’s head of network operations and received an OBE in 2019 for services to the electricity industry, said: “We have a critical role in society and our network continues to operate safely and effectively keeping the power flowing for millions of people every day. We’re very proud of the superb work our colleagues in our communities, offices and working remotely, are doing every day as a team for our customers. To us they can be hidden heroes so it’s great that Amy has been able to help us tell the story of their dedication, commitment and pride in supporting the communities we serve at this very difficult time.”
Amy, who goes to St Mary Magdalen’s School in Seaham, said: “I couldn’t believe it when my mum told me how many people have watched the animation and heard my voice and I’m really pleased that lots of people have found it helpful. I’d also like to thank Northern Powergrid for surprising me with a ‘power’ themed charm for my Nomination bracelet as a thank you for doing the animation. It was very thoughtful and when I’m older it will help me remember making it and being a little part of Team Powergrid during the pandemic.”
Joanne Kerrigan, Amy’s mum and Northern Powergrid’s lead for COVID-19 communications on the network operator’s pandemic strategic management team, said: “It’s fantastic to know that that something which went from a concept and quick recording at the dining room table to the finished animation has reached so many of our customers and reassured them that our teams remain here for them and are continuing to help power their lives.”
The animation featured on digital advertising across Northern Powergrid’s operating areas as well as the company’s YouTube and social media channels.
Anyone needing support can contact the network operator 24/7 on social media (Facebook or Twitter @NorthPowergrid) or by calling 105. Its website also provides information and advice to support customers if they have or need to report a power cut.
Any customers who may need additional advice or support due to their medical circumstances, or are currently ‘shielding’ in line with government and public health advice, may wish to consider joining the company’s free Priority Services Register by visiting northernpowergrid.com/cares or calling 0800 169 2296.
To find out more about how Northern Powergrid and its people are continuing to power the region during the pandemic visit northernpowergrid.com/coronavirus or follow the network operator on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.