BT has rewarded three South Yorkshire community groups with grants totalling £2,500 in recognition of the vital benefits they bring to local people.
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.
Guru Nanaks Free Kitchen in Doncaster and St. Lukes Hospice in Sheffield beat off national competition to win the Diversity and Internal Volunteer categories respectively.
The Diversity Award recognises individuals who through their volunteering activity encourage the active participation of the widest possible range of people without discrimination.
Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen was a worthy winner of this £1000 award. Inspired by the Sikh tradition of sharing ‘Langar’ (food) during Sikh Gurdwara services volunteers from all backgrounds provide free meals to the homeless, and others in need, from the Five Rivers Community Centre on Catherine Street every Thursday between 6.30-7.30pm.
Bulbier Singh, a BT business improvement practioner, whose volunteering secured the award, said: “Everything we serve is donated as is the building space and the table and chairs. This money will help us create a better environment for those that come but also help the volunteers provide a better experience. It will also help buy new equipment to prepare the food, which, although unnoticed by those that attend, is essential for us to be able provide this service.”
St Lukes Hospice also won £1000 after BT sales performance manager, Julie Kemp, took top place in the Internal Volunteer category which recognises individuals who strongly encourage their BT colleagues to get involved in volunteering activities.
Julie said: “I’m over the moon to receive this on behalf of St. Lukes. St Lukes care for people and the families who have incurable illnesses. They aim to control their symptoms, alleviate pain, and give them the best possible care at the end of their lives – all free of charge. My sister Debbie, was cared for there before she died and received lovely care.
“Without volunteers many organisations could not exist. Volunteering is a special thing someone can do and I would encourage anyone who can spare any amount of time to give it a try.”
Wheatley Hills RUFC Junior section in Doncaster also picked up a Bronze Award in the Fundraising category, winning £500 which will be used for the development of more grass roots junior rugby
Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The People Awards acknowledge the time and commitment that BT people in South Yorkshire are giving to the local community groups for which they volunteer.”
Four hundred and fifty one applications were received for this round of grants 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 further information please contact the BT regional press office on 0800 085 0660.