On the 8th October, 160 BT volunteers stepped out of their day jobs to volunteer in the ‘Great BT Charity Shops Challenge’, with each BT team taking over one of the 10 Marie Curie shops across Northern Ireland to help raise vital funds for the charity. On the same day, BT volunteers in the Republic of Ireland also supported the Irish Cancer Society, taking over six stores.
The BT teams competed fiercely against each other using all of their planning, marketing and selling skills to generate extra stock, raise the profile of the shops locally, attract more volunteers and customers, and increase shop takings on the day. As a result, over £86,000 was raised for Marie Curie and the Irish Cancer Society.
This is the third year that the all-island ‘BT Charity Shops Challenge’ has taken place, with close to a staggering £250,000 being generated for the two charities over the course of that time.
The money raised this year for Marie Curie, will go towards helping the charity run and maintain its Belfast Hospice, deliver nursing care across Northern Ireland and help more people living with a terminal illness, including cancer. To the end of April 2015, the Marie Curie Nursing Service cared for 2,753 patients in Northern Ireland – equating to 33,546 hours of care. BT’s support could also be used by the charity to pay for nearly 2,000 hours of nursing care.
Clayre Sloan, Area Manager Marie Curie’s Shops, Northern Ireland said: “This year’s BT Shops Challenge was a fantastic success. This is the third year that we’ve worked with BT and I hope our partnership will continue for many more years.
“All of the BT staff brought a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to the challenge and really got into the spirit of things. I got a chance to meet a lot of the teams and it was clear to see that they understood the purpose of the challenge and the work of Marie Curie.
“The money raised by BT will allow Marie Curie to deliver its nursing service in the Belfast Hospice and across Northern Ireland, as well as helping to fund new services for people and their families living with a terminal illness.”
Alex Crossan, Managing Director Networks, BT Northern Ireland said: “At BT we take great pride in finding meaningful ways to support those that need it most in our communities and the ‘Great BT Charity Shops Challenge’ is an important campaign for all our volunteers in that respect.
Alex continued: “Since we first began the Charity Shops Challenge three years ago, it’s gone from strength to strength. The energy, enthusiasm and creativity of the teams has been amazing and we’re delighted to have raised such a significant amount of money particularly at a time when there are enormous pressures on people to support world – wide crisis situations.
Our volunteers always go above and beyond when it comes to this campaign and we thank them – and all of the customers who came out to support the shops – for their efforts. Hopefully the money raised will go a long way towards helping Marie Curie to continue to deliver the valuable support they provide for families and communities right across Northern Ireland.”
Hannah Palmer from BT and Cindy Anderson, Lead Nurse at Marie Curie are pictured at the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast celebrating the announcement that the ‘BT Charity Shops Challenge’ helped raise more than £86,000 for Marie Curie and the Irish Cancer Society.
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UL Magazine October 2016