International charity WaterAid presented the company with its coveted President's Award, signed by the Prince of Wales, at a ceremony on Friday, October 12, to hail the Thames 4 Bangladesh campaign.
The four-year scheme is the first example of a company adopting specific areas to focus its fundraising efforts and Thames Water staff make visits to Fulbaria, Shakipur, Paikgacha and Kalaroa annually to check on progress.
Thames 4 Bangladesh is aimed at raising £1m to provide access to clean water and sanitation for the four towns, by specifically asking the community what facilities they need and training them how to use them, rather than simply building the infrastructure and leaving them to their own devices. Almost half the Bangladeshi population has no access to safe sanitation, and water-related diseases cause nearly a quarter of all deaths.
Barbara Frost, WaterAid's chief executive, said: "Thames Water's exceptional commitment has spearheaded a new phase of support for WaterAid, revitalising a long-standing partnership.
"Being so involved in the four towns means people know that what we do has a huge impact on people's lives and how water, improved hygiene and sanitation really can and do bring about lasting transformation. We thank Thames Water for their fantastic support."
A key figure in Thames Water's fundraising, Jayne Farrin, said: "We've been able to help thousands of the world's poorest people gain access to the very thing we in the West often take for granted - safe water and sanitation. This award is a real credit to everyone at Thames Water who has raised money for the campaign."
The company holds fundraising events during the year and has raised more than £15m for WaterAid over the past 30 years.