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Openreach teams up with AFA to support military families acro the UK

30/04/2015

DC15- 177 30 April 2015

Openreach teams up with SSAFA to support military families across the UK Openreach, BT's local network business, has launched the largest charitable tie-up in its history by partnering with the UKs 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 MyDonate1

Ends

For further information

About Openreach

Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.

About SSAFA

SSAFA, formerly known as the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association, provides lifelong support to anyone who is currently serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force and their families.

Each year, our professional staff and network of 7,000 volunteers help some 90,000 people, ranging from World War Two veterans to the families of young servicemen and women wounded or killed in Afghanistan.

For more information visit www.ssafa.org.uk and follow us on Twitter: @SSAFA.

About MyDonate

1MyDonate is a not-for-profit, online fundraising service for UK charities from BT. The service provides a secure, easy-to-use way for millions of people to raise money for their favourite charity.

BT invests at least 1% of its corporate pre-tax profits in society each year. At the end of March 2014, BT's investment in society amounted to just over 27m over the previous 12 months - a combination of direct funding and in-kind support. This equates to 1.01% of our pre-tax profits.

Find out more here: http://www.btplc.com/mydonate/index.aspx
LINK: http://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/ShowArticle.cfm?ArticleID=CB2BFE12-...
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