The country’s leading charity dedicated to kidney disease research, Kidney Research UK relies almost entirely on public donations to complete its invaluable work. With its aim to find better treatments, and ultimately cures, the Kidney Research UK team work very hard in what can be a tough, yet incredibly rewarding environment. That’s why it was vital that the recent refurbishment of the charity’s office was undertaken with staff wellbeing and productivity front of mind – with the help of Zip Water UK.
The charity is based in Nene Hall, a unique building on Peterborough Business Park surrounded by beautiful scenery. However, the interior needed work. The team of more than 60 people made do with a small break out area and two kettles, which meant long queues for scale-coated drinks, wasting precious time and lowering morale.
The team knew it was time to take action and improve the space to help staff and volunteers continue their great work – pushing through developments in treatment, providing better information for patients, raising vital public awareness – and ultimately saving lives.
Cambridge-based office design and fit-out specialist Coel, was tasked with delivering an activity-based workplace that would enable better communication and team working. This included a new kitchen breakout area.
Plans included taking down walls to open up the space, creating a light, bright, inviting atmosphere and flexible working pods to allow people to move around and increase collaboration among teams.
When the team at Zip Water UK caught wind of the renovation project they wanted to help out. So, to add the finishing touch to the new staff kitchen, Zip donated a new HydroTap Classic to provide instant filtered chilled and boiling water, installed free of charge.
“Being a charity we’re very conscious about getting the best from the money our generous supporters give. We must ensure every penny possible goes to making a difference to kidney patients,” says Anne-Marie McCarthy, Finance Director at Kidney Research UK.
“We couldn’t have been more delighted when Zip Water UK very generously gifted us a HydroTap. It’s made a staggering difference to the office. We don’t have to waste time waiting for the kettle and everyone is keeping hydrated, which we know is essential when you want to be productive and healthy. It is the perfect addition to the new, bigger kitchen area.”
The staff have also benefitted from the HydroTap’s advanced MicroPurity filtration technology, an important feature in a hard water area such as Peterborough, which improves the taste of drinks and ensures the longevity of the HydroTap system.
“Before the refurb we had a water machine but we had to manually empty the overflow and there was no bottle filling function. There were lots of spills, which were a health and safety issue, and it was very slow to fill jugs for meetings. The HydroTap is so fast and convenient, it’s brilliant!”
Zip also provided every member of staff with their own reusable aluminium SIGG bottle to help them stay hydrated throughout the day, while reducing the need to buy single-use plastic bottles – which are hugely damaging to the environment.
The office refurbishment and new facilities have also created a workplace that is desirable to the brightest and best talent.
“We’re an ambitious charity and we need to do much more, as patients remind us. We have big expectations of what we can achieve, funding the best research programmes, helping to speed up progress and sharing the results to improve the lives of patients. Recruitment is very important and we want to keep hold of and attract the best people for the job, but because we’re in commuting distance to London, competition for staff is high. Now, offering a modern working environment makes us an employer of choice.”
Anne-Marie concludes: “There are lots of good causes out there, so it’s a competitive environment. We depend on having face-to-face conversations with our supporters. It’s amazing how a relationship can blossom over a good cup of tea.”
There are currently three million people in the UK with kidney disease and 60,000 people die prematurely each year because of it. If you would like to find out more about Kidney Research UK or donate, please visit https://www.kidneyresearchuk.org.