BT staff from across the West Midlands are counting down to Christmas by helping people around the UK raise money for good causes.
BT’s Providence Place office in Sandwell will be transformed into a pledge centre on Friday, December 18, to support ITV’s Text Santa fund-raiser.
Around 70 BT employees - many based in the building - have volunteered to man the phones from 7-11pm. They will be joined by colleagues from around Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester, who will be swapping their normal work attire for Christmas jumpers to get themselves in the festive spirit.
This year Text Santa is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish UK and Save the Children. The volunteers in Sandwell and around the country will process donations via MyDonate, BT’s free online fund-raising service for UK charities.
It’s the first time BT’s Sandwell office has taken part in a charity telethon and the excitement is building as the big day approaches.
As well as giving up their own time to take calls from people wanting to donate to Text Santa, BT staff are also doing their own fund-raising.
Tom Hannibal, who works at BT’s Sandwell contact centre, is helping to co-ordinate the Text Santa arrangements.
He said: “We’ve got a fun-packed evening planned for everyone involved and their families, who are being encouraged to come along and support the fund-raising - with a raffle, games, refreshments and face painting among the many activities.
“It’s a real team effort – within BT and the wider community. As well as the colleagues who are giving up their evening to take calls, there will be lots of other people on hand to ensure everything goes smoothly - in the days leading up to Text Santa, as well as during the event itself.
“We’d also like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Tesco, Nando’s and Harvester in West Bromwich’s New Square and TH Baker in Grand Central Birmingham for donating raffle prizes.”
The Sandwell office, which has around 360 staff, is one of three BT centres taking part - colleagues in Doncaster and Dundee will also be running pledge centres.
BT is also a long-term supporter of the BBC’s Children in Need, Comic Relief and Sport Relief telethons, providing the MyDonate platform, technical expertise, network support, volunteers and other help.