BT volunteers win grants for Edinburgh & Lothian good causes

New support for Edinburgh soccer school – while award is just the ticket for Ratho Cubs

BT has rewarded four community groups in Edinburgh and the Lothians with grants of up to £700 to help them continue their good work.

The grants have been awarded through the company’s employee recognition scheme, the BT People Awards. The scheme recognises and rewards BT’s volunteering heroes, who offer their time and skills to help people in their local communities, by providing grants to organisations in which they are involved.

Edinburgh South Football Club scooped £700 in the BT Sport category, while Bonnyrigg Rose Boys Club in Midlothian picked up a £500 sports voucher and the 9th Ratho Cub Scout Group won a £500 award in the Civic Champion section. Finally, the Cockenzie and Port Seton Amateur Radio Club in East Lothian received a special mention and a £230 award in the Digital Champion category of the awards.

BT manager Sean Barr got involved with Edinburgh South FC thanks to his children. Their Soccer School coach was retiring from the post after 10 years. Sean volunteered to take over – and now leads the largest kids’ soccer school in Edinburgh.

He said: “At the time there were around 20 children who looked forward all week to their Saturday morning session. We now have more than 100 kids taking part each Saturday in addition to our 7-a-side and 4-a-side teams, so around 150 young people in total.

“Ten volunteer coaches now work with them, and we continue to seek new volunteers. Our soccer school must be accessible to everyone. Kids want to feel part of a team and so we will be using some of our award to buy team kit and, with the explosion in numbers, we’re also looking to buy some small goal posts. This grant will help us to introduce more kids to sport and help keep them enjoying life and staying healthy.”

Niall Phillips, a client delivery director in BT, secured the boost for the 9th Ratho Cub Scouts, having been involved with the movement for 30 years. He set up the village’s pack six years ago and has seen it grow from four to 66 members – with a waiting list!

This year, for the first time, two of the Cubs have been selected to take part in the Gang Show and the award will help the whole pack to be part of the audience, as well as helping with the cost of new camping, sports and activity badge equipment.

In total, twelve groups in Scotland received grants worth nearly £7000 to help them continue their excellent work in the community. A full list is below.

Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, said: “Many of our employees contribute to the life of their communities, in a myriad of ways. The People Awards acknowledge the time and commitment that BT people across Scotland are giving to the local community groups for which they volunteer.”

UK wide, around 450 applications were received and 84 applicants received awards totalling £50,980. Applications were submitted by BT people from all over the world including Peru, India and Belgium. These included a wide range of community organisations from football clubs to police cadets to red squirrel protection, 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 Scottish winners are:
• Oldmeldrum Sports & Highland Games, AB51 0ES £500
• Edinburgh South FC, Gilmerton Road, EH16 5UD £700
• Bonnyrigg Rose Boys Club, EH19 3AS £500
• Inverness Skating and Ice Dance Club (Sunday Club), IV9 8RQ £500
• 9th Ratho Cub Scout Group, EH288TT £500
• Balmedie Scout Group, AB23 8WB £700
• 44th Dundee Coy Boys Brigade, DD5 2HQ £500
• Balmedie Leisure Centre, AB23 8YF £700
• Cockenzie & Port Seton Amateur Radio Club, EH32 0EE £230
• St Andrew Michael's Club (SAMs), G32 6QE £700
• Freedom of Flight, PA16 8AL £700
• Kingdom of Fife Group Advanced Motorists, KY2 6JP £700