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 spent 53,000 days supporting more than 3,700 charities and community groups around the world, 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.”
An example of the work BT’s employees have been doing is Liz Walker, a general counsel for BT’s Global Services, who combines her job with a County Commissioner role at the Scout Association and is involved with the jamboree in Japan.
She said: “I’ve got two full-time jobs – my demanding working life and my scouting life.But one feeds the other. Scouting gives me a huge amount of energy and passion.And I take that into my work life as well.”