Latest News: British Gas Energy Trust appoints Auriga to take on grants management

Auriga is the place where you can bring your purpose to life

Auriga are passionate about improving the lives of people in vulnerable circumstances. Our people are proud to be part of our diverse, inclusive and healthy workplace.

CHANGING LIVES EVERYDAY

Take a look at the opportunities we currently have at Auriga

The Auriga head office is a bright, accessible, lively place to work and enjoy life. We are in Sutton Coldfield a bustling town centre – and on the edge of Sutton Park, a 2,400 acre nature reserve. The central location is great for commuting on foot or bike, and we’re a two-minute walk to car parks, and the bus and railway station.

Our 70+ people are the foundation of our business and ensure that we deliver outstanding, effective and award-winning assistance and advice services for our clients.

Auriga draws upon a diverse range of expertise across the organisation. Our teams of professional advisers, managers, coordinators and administrators - and many more - have a wide range of alternative experience and skills that allows us to offer our truly unique approach to assistance in the UK.

There is always more to be learned in how to support vulnerable households. We help develop the skills in identifying and addressing the needs of people experiencing vulnerabilities. To this end, we support our people with training and development that ensures they are up to date with the most recent innovations and standards.

Meet the team

As a company, our unique culture and approach delivers enduring results

Operational Delivery

Auriga First

  • Frontline of the business, taking a call when an individual seeks assistance by phone. We don’t use heavily automated phone systems.
  • First step in Auriga’s advice model, understanding needs and putting the customer at the centre of the service. We never forget that almost all the people who call are in a difficult situation and are reaching out for help.
  • Trained customer service experts. Treating people with respect and putting them at ease swiftly, so we can inform and advise the best course of action. They speak a number of languages to improve accessibility - helping us reach communities who may not ordinarily reach out.

Grant Management

  • Managers of a portfolio of assistance funds, commissioned on behalf of clients. From inception to completion, the team ensure a coordinated, coherent plan for delivery. Services include managing, assessing and administrating applications within the requirements of a service or fund.
  • Experts in achieving the timely completion of a caseload of applicants and assessments, priding themselves on their personable and professional approach. No fund is the same and the team have a great ability to manage diverse budgets, themes, and integrate seamlessly, with money advisors where required.
  • Assessors of every application to a trust fund. Carried out by an experienced assessor, considering the background and personal circumstances of the applicant.

Auriga Assist

  • Key customers advisors, delivering services when and where they’re needed. That means outreach work, working in partnerships, and taking referrals from agencies. Advisors have expertise in the provision of debt advice, welfare benefits and wider money advice for people who find themselves in financial difficulty.
  • Experts in a crisis. And specialists in wide-ranging topics including prevention, wellbeing, energy and water efficiency advice, to address the root causes of debt problems.
  • Practitioners, making in-depth or light-touch interventions, where they feel that there is significant impact to be made.
  • Collaborators, working with other agencies and sharing good practice.

Business Development and Marketing

We champion our brilliant services, bringing them to life in dynamic ways for clients. We turn ideas and opportunities into services with impact. In addition to winning new work and maintaining our client base, we also lead all Auriga’s marketing and social media.

Business Development build relationships and work collaboratively with colleagues across the organisation to keep and grow Auriga’s client base. There is a clear approach to sharing insights internally and externally on the knowledge within, and across the sectors we work with.

Laura Towler
Senior Business Development Manager
Luke Arnold
Marketing and Business Development Executive

Finance

The finance team has qualified accountants who ensure strong governance processes surround our work. We act as Company Secretary for charitable trusts and ensure that records are robust, transparent and open to external scrutiny. We manage client accounts and ensure that Auriga’s finances are separate from other funds.

Management accounts are produced monthly for all relevant contracts and we prepare all documentation ready for audit. We use Crowe to conduct our audits. Auriga itself is a financially robust company with an excellent credit rating, able to handle major contracts from both public and private sector organisations.

Business Support

Our Business Support team cover the services needed to support the operational aspects of the business. This covers the IT infrastructure, that was thankfully upgraded prior to lockdown enabling all our staff to be able to work from home. Office Management leads on the day-to-day physical operation of the buildings and facilities. Core business processes (QMS) and procedures for Auriga’s planning and service delivery are developed here - including health & safety management. Business Support liaise with other service areas where appropriate to provide information and advice as required.

Leadership - Board of Directors

The Auriga leadership team has a wealth of experience and know-how spanning assistance within many sectors including water, energy and charity.

Read our biographies to discover more about what we do.

  • Mark Abrams
    Chief Executive
    Mark Abrams
    Chief Executive

    As Chief Executive – growing Auriga with purpose is front of mind for me.

    Throughout my career in the private, public and higher education sectors I have enjoyed a focus on enhancing the customer experience, so creating and delivering our mission of ‘changing lives every day’ adds a very different dimension to my career.

    I am passionate about enabling our people to develop their careers. I started mine as a computer geek, which progressed into growing my own IT company that was eventually floated on the AIM stock market. With plenty of knowledge about IT, I strive to use technology to drive business efficiency and help the communities we serve.

    I’m convinced that by offering the marketplace our expert support services, we ensure clients stay at the forefront of assistance for people in hardship. Having met our 2020 challenge to helping 2 million people, we have now embarked on our new vision - to create over 3 million healthy homes by 2030.

    Support that’s had deep impression on me: We helped a man with throat cancer and successfully gained him over £12,000 unclaimed benefits. When asked about the impact, he replied “I can now afford to buy some fish” as he’d been surviving on tinned soup for years. Eating healthily matters and gaining the extra income made a major difference to him.

    I am incredibly proud of: The overwhelming determination of the Auriga team - our frontline people always prioritise the customer’s wellbeing. Their awareness of the unique issues facing people in hardship and the way they pursue so many alternative routes to find support for customers, is unlike any other service.

  • Nighat Muhammad
    Finance Director
    Nighat Muhammad
    Finance Director

    The role of the FD and finance function in any company is centred around the management of risk, governance and controls.

    First and most obviously we ensure that we get the basics right in terms of paying/receiving the right amounts of money to/from the right people at the right time. But secondly we work closely with each area of the business to identify, assess and address a whole range of challenges, thrown at us every day in an effort to mitigate any financial consequences or crises.

    Opportunities also bring risks which need to be assessed. Annually we agree financial expectations with our non-executive board which we then manage through the use of budgets and forecasts to compare to our actual performance. We are always on the lookout for prospects to provide greater income or events that might knock Auriga off track.

    The various types of assistance we provide means each working day is never the same - which makes for a thrilling role and one which I enjoy. Add to that the positive environment that assistance creates and then the particular atmosphere of working with so many wonderful people within Auriga - and it really is the perfect job.

    Support that’s had deep impression on me: Christmas Eve 2019, we supported one vulnerable customer until late into the evening to ensure redemption of the emergency fuel voucher was carried out after the customer had walked over 5 miles to redeem the voucher with no success. This enabled the customer to have electricity/gas for Christmas Day.

    I am incredibly proud of: Auriga staff for ensuring all customers are treated fairly and delivering exceptional service.

  • Kim Wootton
    Operations Director
    Kim Wootton
    Operations Director

    As Operations Director I oversee all aspects of operational activities and services to our clients and customers. This ranges from implementing new projects, contract delivery and monitoring service level performance. It will come as no surprise to hear I am passionate about how our company operates and finding the right solutions for our clients. I have led the operational side of Auriga since 2014 and have always found it an exciting and challenging undertaking. What matters most to me is leading with energy and passion and with a real connection to our purpose.

    A fascination for business processes and customer service first got me interested in the utility sector, but it’s the people and culture of assistance which have kept me hooked ever since. In all the 25 years of water industry experience I’ve had; the most rewarding moments have been the examples of great and inspiring customer service at Auriga.

    Support that’s had deep impression on me: Auriga supported a young family struggling to make ends meet. Both parents had always worked until illness struck and the wife became a full-time carer to her terminally-ill husband. We made sure they were receiving all the financial help they were entitled to. At Christmas time this family was not forgotten. Staff at Auriga made up a delicious food hamper which was hand delivered to the family. The children’s delight at all the goodies will always be remembered and treasured.

    I am incredibly proud of: Our ability to always do the right thing. The people we help come first and our support and advice is tailored to making a positive difference to their lives and wellbeing.

  • Carol Arnold
    Commercial Director
    Carol Arnold
    Commercial Director

    As Commercial Director, my focus is forming and maintaining partnerships with new and existing clients, keeping up-to-date with relevant policies, how sectors are functioning and giving direction of travel for Auriga.

    I have been with Auriga since its inception and my greatest passion is designing and implementing new projects for clients, finding the right solution to deliver the outcomes desired.

    I have been extremely fortunate to have got to know an extraordinary range of people from the utility, health and charity sectors that have taken me into many fascinating situations. By engaging on current topics with many different and passionate people gives a valuable insight into what services are required in order to make a lasting difference.

    Support that’s had deep impression on me: 15 years ago, one of the first cases Auriga received asking for help, was a mother with a young daughter, with no other means of assistance. When I spoke to her she had nothing in the house; they survived on £10 a week eating bread, beans and eggs each day. Her situation had a deep and lasting impression on me, it was my first role in the charity sector and hearing how she struggled to survive was shocking - it made me committed to help others in poverty.

    I am incredibly proud of: Auriga staff members, always going the extra mile to ensure the customer always receives the best possible help available.

  • Bob Taylor
    Non-Executive Chairman
    Bob Taylor
    Non-Executive Chairman

    Bob has been a Non-Executive Chairman at Auriga since 2009. Bob is a Chartered Engineer and a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. His long career spans the construction industry, building materials manufacturing and the water sector at senior director level. He has managed many long-term contracts with the MOD, in public sector organisations and large private sector industries. In addition to his role on the Board at Auriga, Bob is founding Governor of Thomas Telford School Trust Ltd, Taylor Osbornes Company Secretary and Non-Executive board member.

    Phil Lines
    Non-Executive Director
    Phil Lines
    Non-Executive Director

    Phil has been a Non-Executive Director of Auriga since 2004. Phil is a Chartered Accountant with wide-ranging financial and commercial expertise. He is also the Chief Financial Officer of an educational academy, which is part of the most diverse multi-academy trust in the West Midlands.

    During his time at Auriga, Phil has brought invaluable knowledge and understanding of finance, governance, business strategy and risk management both within the commercial and not-for-profit sectors.

    Jason Manning
    Non-Executive Director
    Jason Manning
    Non-Executive Director

    Jason has been a Non-Executive Director at Auriga since 2011. A graduate of Cardiff Business School, he has extensive marketing and sales capabilities. Over the last 30 years Jason has driven growth, predominantly in the IT, finance and marketing agency sectors. In addition to his duties at Auriga, he also works as a management consultant in both the UK and Australia.

Celebrating Success

The Culture Club – set up to maintain a positive team culture within Auriga

Auriga created the Club as part of an ongoing commitment to supporting all the people working at Auriga and promote wellbeing across the teams.

The Club also exist so that people can ensure their voices are heard and they feel empowered to influence decisions. It undertakes a range of activities to listen, obtain feedback and learn from its findings to drive improvements in the business.

Through the Club we have provided a range of benefits and improvements including, mental health training and awareness, support for health and wellness and wellbeing newsletters with ideas during the unprecedented challenge of Covid 19.

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