When it came to raising money for a colleague’s poorly nephew, you could be forgiven for thinking this group of Birmingham-based engineers were a bit nuts.
Around 80 Openreach employees, who are based at the city centre telephone exchange, in Station Street, arranged a traditional conker contest – but it was all for a great cause.
It was organised in their own time to raise money for the relative of a colleague, Jason Carrington. His nephew, Henry, aged three, from Stafford, needs special medical treatment, which could cost around £50,000.
Jason said: “Henry was born prematurely at 28 weeks in 2014, weighing just 2lbs 14oz. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was two. His condition is spastic diplegia, which causes co-ordination problems, and as a result he’s unable to stand or walk independently.
“We’re raising money so he can undergo an operation called selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, which will hopefully help Henry to walk unaided.”
Jason, from Stafford, joined Openreach – the business responsible for Britain’s largest telephone and broadband network - from the Army around three years ago.
He added: “I’ve been hugely touched by the support from colleagues at Openreach. The money raised will be added to funds from other events being organised by other family and friends.”
Gary Booth, an Openreach planning manager, who organised the conker contest, said: “When we heard about Henry’s situation, we were keen to do something positive to help. The conker competition proved such a hit, we think it might become an annual fund-raising event. It brought out the ‘kids’ in us; some people were very competitive, but that just added to the fun.”
So far the Openreach colleagues have raised £200 towards the appeal for Henry, with the total expected to rise as the competition reaches its exciting conclusion.
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Openreach is Britain’s digital network business. That means we connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses – large and small – to the world. It’s our mission to build the best possible network with the highest quality service, and make sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.
Our 30,400 people work on behalf of more than 580 communications providers like Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT. Our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, covering more than 26.8 million premises. And our technology is the basis of Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest of the G20 countries.
We’re working hard to give people the broadband speeds they need at work and at home. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11bn into our network. And we now manage more than 158 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, and from Wales to the east coast. But we’re not stopping there – we’re making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.
We’re owned by BT Group and independently governed. Our business is highly regulated, and more than 90 per cent of our revenue comes from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access our products under the same prices, terms and conditions.
In the year ending 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.
To find out more about us and what we do, go to openreach.co.uk.