Due to phenomenal success the Great BT Charity Shops Challenge returns for a third year in aid of Marie Curie

September 29th 2015

Marie Curie challenges BT staff to manage high street shops for a day to help raise vital funds. Charity to use money to deliver nursing care to anyone living with a terminal illness

Leading communications provider BT has once again partnered with Northern Ireland’s leading palliative care provider, Marie Curie, to organise another ‘Great BT Charity Shops Challenge’.  Now in its third year this year’s event takes place on Thursday 8 October 2015.

160 BT employees have stepped up to the challenge that will see them helping to run ten Marie Curie shops across Northern Ireland and six Irish Cancer Society in the Republic of Ireland. 

The challenge pits staff teams against one another – each team will be working at a shop for a day, and will be charged with providing as much stock (including signed Ulster Rugby Shirts, designer boots, accessories, clothes, household goods and all sorts of bric-a-brac) to sell on the day.  

The teams will use their corporate skills to promote their shops, encourage shoppers to visit and ultimately to raise as much money as possible for Marie Curie.  The charity will use this money to help run and maintain its Belfast Hospice, to deliver nursing care across Northern Ireland and to help more people living with a terminal illness, including cancer. 

The team that raises the most money will be the winner! 

This year’s challenge which will also see BT partner with the Irish Cancer Society in the Republic of Ireland, aims to attract families to Marie Curie shops and encourage them to visit, and to explore the vast amount of stock on display.

Commenting on the challenge, Clayre Sloan, Area Manager, Marie Curie Shops NI said: “We’re delighted to once again be working with BT.  The ‘Great BT Shops challenge’ is now becoming a firm favourite in the shops calendar.  Last year was a tremendous success raising more than £102,000 for both charities and I have no doubt that the BT teams will go all out to make this year even more successful.

“This year’s challenge comes at an exciting time for Marie Curie.  2015 is a special year for the charity for two reasons.  Firstly our Belfast Hospice is celebrating 50 years of service and secondly the charity has a new look and feel that hopefully gives people a better understanding of what it is we do.

“It is important people understand that Marie Curie provides direct care and support to people with all terminal illness whether that’s cancer or conditions such as motor neurone disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

 “Last year our Northern Ireland shops’ profits funded 21 days of inpatient and outpatient services at the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast and more than 500 nursing service night shifts in the homes of patients across Northern Ireland.  The BT Shops Challenge does much in terms of helping us achieve this amount, and is a really fun way to attract shoppers of all kinds.

 “Our shops can never have enough stock, so, if you have clothes that you no longer wear or have households goods that look a little out of place in your home then please box them up and drop them off at your nearest shop.  You’ll get a warm welcome from our staff and will be helping us deliver much needed service to those with a terminal illness, both in our Belfast Hospice and in the local community.”

Alex Crossan, Managing Director, BT Northern Ireland Networks said:

“I’m very proud of all of our people who have taken the time out from their day job to once again support two such worthy causes and in such a unique and practical way. BT is committed to using our skills and technology to help others and last year alone our BT volunteers across the island of Ireland spent 1,300 working days supporting local communities and charities.

We’re looking forward to working with Marie Curie again this year and building on the success of last year’s challenge and I would encourage everyone to keep the date in the diary to come along and show your support.”