BT staff volunteering in the South West gives near £1 million boost to charitable causes
BT workers in the South West spend more than 3,200 days a year supporting charities and community groups, it was revealed today. The 23,220 hours of volunteering by more than 1,400 employees in the region is estimated to be worth nearly £1 million annually.
Across the world, thousands of communities and charities have benefitted from an increase in volunteering by BT employees this year, after the company saw a 62 per cent rise in people contributing to good causes.
To mark National Volunteers’ Week (Monday, 1 June – Sunday, 7 June), BT revealed that, in the past year, 26 per cent of BT people worldwide spent 53,000 days supporting more than 3,700 charities and community groups, raising more than £80million for good causes.
BT runs its own volunteering programme, helping charitable organisations to thrive and grow thanks to the generosity and help of BT employees. The programme enables BT employees to use up to three days of working time each year for community and charitable work. This provides communities with tens of thousands of days of support each year, worth millions of pounds.
Employees at BT also take time out of their working life and spare time to contribute with coaching boxing in local schools, hockey coaching in the community, as well as helping running and cycling clubs, being some examples.
BT is committed to investing at least one per cent of BT Group pre-tax profits in charities and community organisations each year, through a mix of direct funding and in-kind support.
BT is looking to encourage more employees to participate further, volunteer in areas they excel in and has the ambition for two-thirds of employees to spend time volunteering to support good causes by 2020. BT also works alongside BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, ChildLine and Disasters Emergency Committee with numerous BT employees volunteering during their frequent telethons at the BT Tower in London and across the UK to raise money during their appeals.
It is also two years since the launch of BT’s Supporters Club, an initiative aimed at building a better world through sport. BT Sport customers can make a recurring monthly donation of £1, £3 or £5 to The Supporters Club via their BT bill. The donations are spent by Comic Relief, the charity partner, on projects that use sport as an enabler for social change, helping disadvantaged young people in the UK and abroad. Over the coming year, BT is going to encourage its employees to volunteer even more with charities that are benefitting from The Supporters Club grants .”
Sir Michael Rake, Chairman of BT Group, said: “Our people contribute to their communities in many ways and I’m proud of our strong volunteering ethos throughout BT. We strongly believe volunteering is good for employees and the business, as well as benefitting charities and communities they support.”
Jon Reynolds, BT South West regional director, said: “Hundreds of BT people across the South West play a vital role in the community as volunteers of worthy organisations. Many of them readily give hundreds of hours of their own time each year helping to make our region a better place to live and work. Their tireless efforts are another example of the leading role BT and its people play in the South West. Whether it’s volunteering, providing vital services, such as superfast broadband, or being a major employer, we have a powerful presence in every community in the region. BT is a worldwide company with very strong local roots.”
Among the BT people in the South West who are volunteers is Paul Coles, BT’s South West regional manager.
Paul became involved in surf lifesaving eight years ago and is now a board member of Surf Lifesaving GB and a committee member of Bideford Bay Surf Lifesaving Club.
Paul said: “I have found my volunteering with surf lifesaving tremendously rewarding. It is great to see young people and adults learning vital skills, which help to make the beaches of the South West a safer place. I have no doubt that the volunteering has also helped to make me a better manager and leader in my working life.”