Balmedie volunteer wins national BT award

Openreach employee raises £500,000 for charity and wins national award

Champion fundraiser Bill Murray, who’s spent more than twenty years supporting Balmedie Leisure Centre, has won recognition and a £1,000 award from BT’s chairman, Sir Michael Rake.

As chair of the charity that runs the leisure centre on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, Bill has helped to fundraise around £500,000, including £326,000 for a new coffee shop. The leisure centre provides sports facilities and a cafe for local people and is seen as an invaluable local resource. The location acts as a base for local community groups to meet and run their activities, including sports facilities for school children from nearby Balmedie Primary School.

Bill, 64, beat off competition from colleagues around the UK to win the award – one of only three presented to BT employees each quarter. Nominations are received from across the UK, including Openreach, BT’s local network business. The three quarterly winners must impress judges with their community volunteering and fundraising efforts.

Working as an Openreach job controller in Aberdeen, Bill coordinates the tasks carried out by engineers around the UK on complex data networks for large organisations. He volunteers in his own time and the awards from BT have gone straight back in to his fundraising efforts. Bill has clocked up a staggering 345 volunteering hours in the past year, spent mainly on fundraising.

Bill said: “I’ve lived in Balmedie all my life and I’ve been chair of the local committee for six years. I’m really proud of the work everyone does to keep the leisure centre running. My wife and daughter also help out, it’s a real family affair. From cutting the grass to repairing nets, I’m always kept busy.

“The range of activities and events going on here is incredible, from toddlers’ groups to pensioners’ bingo, there’s something for everyone and this very welcome extra money from BT will help us to keep it all going. I’m sure I’ll be volunteering twenty years from now!”

Ian Hill, chief sustainability officer for Openreach, said: “Bill’s achievements are impressive and winning this award yet again is great recognition for the work he does. Not only has he raised significant sums of money but he’s worked tirelessly to help support vital services in his community.

“Last year, more than 650 Openreach employees in Scotland volunteered more than 435 days in their local communities. Using some of the skills they’ve gained at work and their own determination to help their communities up and down the country, Openreach people are at the heart of every community in Scotland.”