BT returns to charity shops challenge in support of Marie Curie

- BT staff are taking up the challenge of managing high street shops to raise vital funds for Marie Curie 

- Families encouraged to visit shops and to check out the wide variety of stock on offer
BT, Northern Ireland’s leading communications provider, has once again partnered with principle palliative care provider, Marie Curie, to create a second ‘Great BT Charity Shops Challenge’ which this year takes place on Thursday 9 October.

Around 160 BT staff have again signed up for the challenge that will see them helping to run seven Marie Curie shops across Northern Ireland and ten Irish Cancer Society shops in the Republic of 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 (clothes, household goods and all sorts of bric-a-brac) as possible.

The teams will use their corporate skills to promote their shops, encourage shoppers to visit and ultimately raise as much money as possible for the charities. 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 specifically to attract families to the shops. It will encourage them to visit and explore the vast array of stock on display, from a perfect vintage party dress to home accessories to help finish off that new living room look.

Commenting on the challenge, Clayre Sloan, Area Manager, Marie Curie Shops NI 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.

“Marie Curie operates 18 shops throughout Northern Ireland, each carries a wide range of stock that is donated to us by our supporters, Aladdin’s cave looks ordinary by comparison. Indeed the shops play a vital role in helping Marie Curie to deliver its services.

“Last year our shops raised more than £360,000. This sum allowed Marie Curie to deliver 74 days of Hospice Care and more than 4,000 hours of nursing services. The Great BT Charity Shops Challenge does much in terms of helping us achieve this amount, and is a really fun way to attract shoppers of all kinds.

“Our shops can never have enough stock, so, if you have clothes that you no longer wear or have household goods that look a little out of place in your home then please box them up and drop them off at your nearest shop. You’ll get a warm welcome from our staff and will be helping us to deliver a much-needed service to those with a terminal illness, both in our Belfast Hospice and in the local community.”

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 Marie Curie again this year on the Great BT Charity Shops Challenge and hope to build on the success of last year’s all-island event."


Notes to Editors:
The Great BT Shops Challenge will take place on Thursday 9th October 2014
The Marie Curie shops participating in the challenge are:

  • Banbridge
    • Belmont Road
    • Botanic Ave
    • Cregagh Road
    • Dunmurry
    • Newry
    • Stranmillis
  • About Marie Curie: Marie Curie is the leading charity providing care to people with any terminal illness in their own homes or in one of its nine hospices. The charity is also a leader in research into the best ways of caring for people with a terminal illness. In addition to this the charity designs and advises on end of life services and works to ensure that the best possible care and patient choice is at the heart of commissioning end of life care across the UK. All Marie Curie services are completely free of charge. Around 70% of the charity’s income comes from donations with the balance of funds coming from the NHS.