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#BTMyStory EP2 -Behind the Telethons

We all love charity and, let’s face it, no one does it better than us! Every year our fantastic people are working behind the scenes on the biggest charity events of the year – Comic Relief and Children in Need to name just a few. As a nation we continually raise millions of pounds to help disadvantaged people worldwide, whether it’s raising money from cake baking to leg shaking! At BT, we are very proud supporters of Comic Relief and Children in Need and have been since both launched in 1980 and 1985.

Red Nose Day 2017, as part of Comic relief, received a staggering total of £76 million pounds so far. And we had our brilliant people volunteering to take donations over the phones in eight of our call centres through the day and night to really make a difference. We were also able to support the charity with our staff fundraising across the country through sponsored walks and painting the town red, we even helped create a virtual reality story!

But have you ever wondered what it's like being the people behind the telethon? Here’s a few of our awesome people on their experiences supporting Red Nose Day 2017:  

Angela Kelly

Angela has been with us for 33 years and refers to herself as a "Child Prodigy of BT" (we certainly agree!) and aside from her day job as a Senior Marketing Manager, she is also a BT Volunteer and Club Leader. She's been involved since the first ever Red Nose Day where she was one of our call handlers and has worked her way up to being the organiser. This year, Angela was the Centre Lead in our Newcastle contact centre, where she was involved in all aspects of bring the event to life, from the BBC briefing to even arranging the internal raffle for the centres volunteers, boosting the fundraising even further!

 More Telethoners

Angela says “It’s such a good night, we see the best in society, everyone's happy and really supportive of the charity!” Our volunteers work through the night to make the event special and Angela says “It’s an adrenaline surge. You’re operating on full power. I’m shattered, but elated when it's all over and a success!” When asked if Angela would be getting involved again next year she immediately said “I’d definitely do it again, I'm planning the Children in Need event later this year!”  

Yvette Blaney

Yvette has been a part of the BT family for over 21 years, now working in our Venture Voice Services division as a Resource Manager, based in Glasgow. She started volunteering for Red Nose Day as a PA and has stayed with the program for over 10 years! Yvette says “It’s great to give back to the community and helping so many people” Yvette is a real hero for the program and last year she was part a group that spent six days in South Africa for a project called Kick for Life (K4L), which engages local children through football to educate them about HIV. They also provide a service which gives free legal support for people facing unlawful evictions and a boxing club supporting abused youngsters.

 School group in South Africa

Yvette says “This trip has given me the most rewarding and emotional experience of my life so far, I found myself in tears at times” We asked if Yvette would consider doing the event next year with her response being “Yes, I would do it again, definitely.” When we asked her how she felt about being involved in the telethons and supporting Red Nose Day she said “It's hard to put into words, but I do wish to spread one simple message - anyone can make a difference, whether volunteering for an international charity or helping someone in your own local community. We can all make a difference.”  

Sally Mitchell

Sally has ventured through a 23 year period with us now working within our conferencing division. This year she was a ‘first timer’ working on the event and was an organiser in the Shrewsbury centre. It was the main hub this year and Sally managed a team of 80 volunteers who were manning the phones and even arranged the entertainment for the children of the volunteers involved, as they were super excited to join in the fun.


Sally says “I was really nervous as I have never done it before, but excited, it’s great team work with other centres". Sally was also part of the filming for Midlands Today with the TV crew conducting interviews in the centre. Sally said "It was exhausting, but was a great sense of achievement, I would definitely do it again."

For more stories from our BT family, check out our #BTMyStory series and if you missed our first episode check out Charlie and Andy’s story on the Ask the Champions event. Follow us on Facebook at ourEarly Careers/Careers channels and also our Twitter Early Careers /Careers pages.