BT returns to charity shops challenge in support of Irish Cancer Society

- BT staff are taking up the challenge of managing charity shops to raise vital funds for the Irish Cancer Society 

- Families encouraged to visit shops and to check out the wide variety of stock on offer
BT, Ireland’s leading communications provider, has once again partnered with national cancer charity, the Irish Cancer Society, to run the second all-island ‘Great BT Charity Shops Challenge’ which this year takes place on Thursday 9th October.

160 BT staff have already signed up for the challenge that will see them helping to run 10 Irish Cancer Society shops across Ireland and seven Marie Curie shops in Northern Ireland. The challenge pits staff teams against one another – each team will work at a shop for a day, and will be tasked with providing and selling as much stock as possible - clothes, household goods and all sorts of bric-a-brac!

The teams will also use their corporate skills to promote their shop, encourage shoppers to visit and ultimately to raise as much money as possible for the Irish Cancer Society. The teams will be judged on how much they can increase overall sales in the shops and how much stock they gather.

This year’s challenge aims to attract families to the Irish Cancer Society shops. It will encourage them to visit and explore the vast array of stock on display suitable for all the family - from the perfect vintage party look to getting the kids back to school to finishing off the new living room.

Commenting on the challenge, Paul Hughes, Irish Cancer Society Shops Manager and Chair of the Irish Charity Shops Association said: “We’re delighted to once again be working with BT. The Shops Challenge last year was a tremendous success and I have no doubt that the BT teams will go all out to make this year even bigger. We are always looking for ways to raise awareness of our charity shops and to spread the word about the great value and fashion available there.”

“We need more people to shop, donate and volunteer and this initiative by BT will certainly help on all these fronts by helping us raise awareness of what our shops actually offer. By generating much needed stock and equally importantly encouraging people to donate their time. We hope that everyone visits their local shop on takeover day and bags themselves a bargain. Without support of our shops from the community we can’t continue to deliver our nationwide information and support services.”

Sinéad Nic Oireachtaigh, Better Future programme manager for BT, said: “At BT we're committed to using our skills and technology to support good causes. Last year alone BT volunteers, across the island of Ireland, spent 1,860 working days supporting local communities and charities. We’re hugely looking forward to working with the Irish Cancer Society again this year on the Great BT Charity Shops Challenge and hope to build on the success of last year’s all-island event."

Remember our charity shops ~ Volunteer ~ Shop ~ Donate. Visit www.cancer.ie/shops

~ Ends ~

Notes to the Editor:
About the Great BT Charity Shops Challenge
The Great BT Charity Shops Challenge will take place on Thursday 9th October 2014
The Irish Cancer Society shops participating in the challenge are:
1. Bray
2. Camden Street
3. Capel St
4. Clondalkin
5. Drogheda
6. Dun Laoghaire
7. Kimmage
8. Phibsborough
9. Rathmines
10. Waterford

About the Irish Cancer Society - Charity shops

The Irish Cancer Society has 20 charity shops across the country and all proceeds generated go to help fight cancer in Ireland, supporting the work of the Society.

Over 1million items are sold every year in the charity shops, many of which include designer items and other items of high value. Every day more than 400 new items are put out for sale. The shops welcome donations of clothes, shoes, books, bric-a-brac, giftware, collectables and household items as well as furniture in our some of the larger shores.

In the past three years the shops have sold Armani suits, Gucci jewelry, Prada handbags, Jimmy Choos, and designer labels from Max Mara, Whistles, Karen Millen and Coast. In 2011, during one week in the Camden Street shop we sold brand new handbags, one from Alexander McQueen for €1200 and a Louis Vuitton for €600.

Shops are largely staffed by approximately 30 volunteers and supported by a number of full time employees.
BT’s support of the ‘Great Charity Shops Challenge’ will increase customer awareness, increase donations, on street promotion and most of all will help our shops establish new relationships with local businesses.