Economic Secretary Chloe Smith today visited Clare School in Norwich to present BT with the latest Prime Minister’s Big Society Award for its employee volunteering scheme. Last year staff gave over 49,000 days of their time to charities and community organisations, worth an estimated £13.8 million.
BT launched its volunteering programme in April 2009 by offering all staff the opportunity to volunteer in work time with an activity of their choice. By helping to provide company-led activities and unlocking individual talent through skills-based opportunities BT has helped the scheme to grow and communities globally to benefit.
Their achievements to date include:
- working with the Lord’s Taverners to help schools like Clare School in Norwich, providing tailored support and equipment for the children.
- supporting the career development and transition into the workplace of over 1,000 16-18 year olds through the ‘Growing into work’ programme
- offering work experience to over 3,500 young people through the Work Inspiration campaign
Chloe Smith saw the BT sensory room, complete with its new equipment, which has been provided as part of BT’s ongoing commitment to its volunteering programme. Sensory rooms feature a relaxing and stimulating variety of sights, sounds and textures which help disabled children to learn in an environment that suits their educational needs. She also met some of the children from the school and spoke to representatives from BT and The Lord’s Taverners charity.
Congratulating BT on the award, the Prime Minister said:
BT’s employee volunteering scheme has quickly grown to provide millions of pounds worth of support to charities and community groups every year. This is invaluable for groups which would not be able to afford the type of skilled help BT staff provide.
I would like to congratulate the senior staff at BT who have worked to create a culture where employees feel supported in giving time from their working week to support local causes. I would also like to thank the thousands of staff who have taken part and I hope that their experience will inspire others to look at how they can give their time and skills to support organisations in their area.
Presenting the award, Economic Secretary Chloe Smith said:
I’m delighted to give this award to BT in recognition of the excellent work that’s been done at the Clare School. As a Norwich MP, I’m particularly pleased to see such a positive local example of the Big Society in action.
Today I’ve had the opportunity to see the new sensory room, which I know will be invaluable to the students here and their families. BT has also led the way in encouraging staff volunteering, a vital part of the Big Society. 49,000 staff days have been donated to good causes so far and I hope this commitment long continues.
Accepting the award, Helen Simpson, Director of Volunteering at BT said:
We are very proud to accept this award as a celebration of all the volunteering completed by BT people. On behalf of our volunteers, and from all our charity partners, such as the Lord’s Taverners, we say thank you!