Openreach teams up with SSAFA to support military families across the UK
12 May 2015
Openreach, BT’s local network business, has launched the largest charitable tie-up in its history by partnering with the UK's oldest national military charity, SSAFA.
The partnership builds on BT’s long standing support for military and ex-military service men and women and will see the two organisations collaborate on a range of fundraising and promotional initiatives.
In the past two years, Openreach has actively recruited ex-military personnel to boost its fibre broadband roll-out, install new lines, and to build and maintain consumer and business connections across the UK. In addition across BT Group there are around 400 military Reservists who combine military roles with their civilian careers.
Meanwhile SSAFA has been supporting armed forces personnel and their families for 130 years. The charity works across the UK to provide lifelong advice and support for those who have served in the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, as well as their families – regardless of their length of service. Each year, over 55,000 people with a military connection receive support from SSAFA’s professional staff and regional volunteer network.
SSAFA Chief Executive David Murray said: “This ground-breaking partnership with Openreach is the first of its kind for SSAFA and we are excited to find a partner who shares our desire to ensure our Armed Forces and their families receive the support they deserve wherever and whenever they need it.
“Like Openreach, SSAFA enjoys a strong and trusted relationship with the communities in which we operate and we will look forward to working together on a range of activities to engage Openreach employees whilst raising awareness of the vital work that SSAFA does.”
Joe Garner, Openreach CEO, said: “Openreach, as part of BT, is proud of its record of service to the military that we can trace back as far as the Crimean War. Recently we have hired over 2000 veterans and are active supporters of reservists – notably 81 Signals. We are delighted to deepen our support for the forces and their families via this new partnership with SSAFA. We are thrilled to make a contribution to protecting – as well as connecting – Britain.”
Openreach will support a number of major fundraising events led by SSAFA during the year. The first will be the 200 mile Victory Ride through Portsmouth, Salisbury and the New Forest on 16-17 May. Openreach is sponsoring 8 riders to take part in the ride.
Mathew Bevan, Openreach engineer and Reservist, said: “Reservists from Openreach bring key skills to the forces and we get loads in return – enhanced engineering training, leadership experience, and developing the ability to work in very challenging environments. It’s fantastic to see that we’re now doing even more to support the Forces by fundraising and volunteering for SSAFA.”
More fundraising events will follow throughout the year, including the ‘Big Brew Up’ in June, which will see hundreds of communities gather across the country to enjoy tea, coffee and cake to raise money for the charity.
Openreach will also support the charity with volunteering to boost the effort and impact of SSAFA’s community initiatives by providing a range of skills, ranging from digging out ditches, to brainstorming in boardrooms.
People can sponsor Openreach cyclists on the Victory Ride by visiting MyDonate
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