Ready to help you this festive season: Rebecca Botto

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) supports over 780,000 customers across Wessex, bringing a robust and resilient power supply to their homes and businesses throughout the year. It’s my job to make sure that on the rare occasion when faults do occur and our customers lose power, I can help provide the care and support needed to alleviate the stress it may cause. 

I co-ordinate Customer Community Advisors across the Wessex region - which covers areas including Bournemouth, Dorset, Hampshire and the New Forest - working closely with the Welfare Team who receive calls from our customers on the Priority Services Register (www.ssen.co.uk/psr) and through the free-to-call 105 emergency number. This way, my team and I are fully prepared - with additional staff members ready to call into action - so we can work through the severe weather of the winter months. 

This festive season is no different, although some of our working practices have changed during the coronavirus pandemic to introduce further safety measures for our customers and the colleagues who work to keep homes and businesses on supply. We may been working a differently this year, because of the virus, but we’re still able to fully support our most vulnerable customers, just as we were before. 

We want to make sure that our customers enjoy this special time of the year, but should there be any chance those celebrations might be temporarily interrupted by a disruption to their power supply, my team and I will be ready to respond. The need for a resilient supply of electricity doesn’t take the day off at Christmas and neither will I. 

Throughout the year, SSEN has continued to work virtually with parish councils and local resilience groups across Bournemouth to prepare for periods of unsettled weather or faults, and to ensure that we can target support to those that need it. 

I’d love to say that I’ll be there personally for each and every one of our customers in the event of a power cut, but Wessex is a big place and even Santa Claus needs his elves to help out, so during this year, I’ve been helping to train other Customer and Community Advisors and Customer Community Volunteers. That way we can make sure we have a team of professional people who can help bring reassurance, assistance and welfare to those who need it most during adverse weather events or power cuts. 

I hope you have a fabulous festive season and please don’t be offended if I say I hope I don’t see you during this time; it just means that our network is operating exactly the way we’ve planned and is keeping the power flowing for all of our customers across Wessex this Christmas.