BT Flex is BT’s first flexible resource centre which opened for business in August 2012.  Flex provides a service to BT wide contact centres needing additional support, the multi-skilled Flex employees can be brought in to help.  BT Flex currently employs around 400 people coming from all over the UK and Ireland

The money (approx. £3,000) which will be donated by BT Flex staff over the next 12 months, means we’ll be able to provide family carers with an extended respite break of 10 hours on a Saturday (the weekend is when carers tell us they feel most stressed).  Weekends are also when our clients tell us they feel most socially isolated, so we will use this money to provide 4 fun-filled day trips to various locations across NI.  But that’s not all, for these staff will also be getting “hands on” involvement with Caring Breaks, building on a relationship with us that started some time ago.

Two years ago BT staff raised £650 for us which we used to provide craft workshops for our clients.  They then asked if they could help out in other activities – the answer was “yes” of course!  This resulted in volunteers working over two days, clearing away weeds and undergrowth so we could open a second allotment. 

The volunteers worked very hard indeed - they even dug out a space to accommodate a huge bath that we now use as a pond!  And now the garden is up and running for our clients to use for games and activities or just to take some time out and relax.

During the next 12 months we plan to work with BT Flex, involving their staff in some more activities.   One already pencilled in is a sponsored abseil, which we hope to arrange next spring.

But BT Flex have also been kind enough to ask us to bring clients to get a behind the scenes look at what it is like to work in a busy contact centre environment.  Recently, Linda and I brought four clients to the centre, where the staff laid on lovely treats for everyone before taking us on a tour, which included listening in as BT staff set up a conference call.

As one of our clients said afterwards “it was just so cool to listen in to people from all around the world”.  And now they have offered to do the same tour for some other clients during the next few months.

All the BT people we have come into contact with have been great and very helpful, but our particular thanks must go to Project Manager Kim-Eleas Smith, who has been not only incredibly supportive, but a real champion for Caring Breaks within BT Flex.