BT Volunteer wins £1000 for Seaton Delaval Arts Centre

BT has rewarded Seaton Delaval Arts Centre with a grant of £1000 to recognise the centres commitment to art and heritage in the local community. 

The grant has been awarded through the company’s employee recognition scheme, the BT People Awards, which were launched last year. The scheme acknowledges BT’s volunteering heroes, who offer their time and skills to help people in their local community, by providing grants to organisations in which they are involved. 

Seaton Delaval Arts Centre beat off national competition winning the Arts and Heritage category of the awards for the contribution it makes to the local community. The centre provides a modern space where a variety of arts can be performed and offers activities for young people living in the surrounding area. 

Mark Pringle, managing director of Seaton Delaval Arts Centre, said: “Our building houses a vibrant community lead theatre and arts centre. We offer a wide selection of events, from plays to pantomime, themed evenings to lunches and everything in between. We are staffed entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers which means that all of the profit is ploughed back into the centre to enhance our provision. 

“Without volunteers we could not exist. Volunteering is a special thing can someone can do and we are eternally grateful for the dedicated team who give many hours to keep our building opening and functioning for the community.” 

BT engineer Michael Blewitt volunteers for the Arts Centre and nominated them for the BT People Award. He said: I thoroughly enjoy volunteering at the Arts Centre. This award is well deserved as it’s a brilliant venue which the whole local community can support and be proud of.” 

Eight groups in the North East have received grants to help them continue their excellent work in the community, including: Whitley Bay Young People’s Centre, Riverside Netball Club in North Shields, North Shields 

Amateur Boxing Club and Whitley Bay Rockcliff Mini Rugby. A detailed list of the winning groups is below. 

Farooq Hakim, BT’s North East regional director, said: “The People Awards highlight the time and commitment that BT people are giving to their communities and provide a great opportunity to reward the community group or charity for which they volunteer.” 

Joe McDavid, a BT Human Resources director, said: “BT has a long history of working with good causes to help improve lives. Together with our employees, we have a record of fundraising and support for our local community groups that we can be proud of. It’s also wonderful to see so many BT people using their professional skills to support such a diverse mix of community organisations and charities. We see volunteering as a two-way benefit as there are many development opportunities when new skills are brought back into the workplace. Some of these experiences can only be gained by playing such an active role in the local community.” 

Two hundred and twenty four applications were received for the first round of grants this year and 174 applicants received awards totalling £50,000. 

Applications were submitted by BT people from all over the world including Switzerland and Malaysia. These included a wide range of community organisations from a children’s theatre to a pipe band, illustrating the wide variety of activities in which BT people are involved. 

For more information and to see a complete list of the latest award recipients please visit: www.btpeopleawards.co.uk or see what BT can do to help charities by visiting: www.bt.com/charityportfolio. 


The North East winners are: 
• Seaton Delaval Arts Centre, Seaton Delaval, NE25 0DY £1,000 
• Billingham Amateur Swimming Club, Billingham, TS23 3DQ £200 
• Whitley Bay Rockcliff Mini Rugby, Whitley Bay, NE25 8RW £200 
• 1st Dinnington Scouts, Dinnington, NE13 7JH £200 
• Whitley Bay Young People’s Centre, Whitley Bay, NE25 8JX £200 
• Redhouse Farm Junior Football Club, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 2HY £200 
• Riverside Netball Club, North Shields, NE31 2TB £200 
• North Shields Amateur Boxing Club, North Shields, NE30 1DE £200