Digital network Openreach gives a festive boost to Home-Start

Openreach’s 3,200-strong workforce across Scotland has launched a Christmas campaign for Home-Start to support some of the nation’s most vulnerable families and children.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 12:00 am
Home-Start Garioch’s Valerie Tennant (L) and Lynn Davidson (R) receive a festive delivery.

Volunteers from the digital network business set out to collect 5,000 gifts for 1,100 children across 18 Home-Starts from Orkney to Stranraer.

Employees who couldn’t make it to collection points also raised £3,700 in Scotland to buy more gifts and vouchers.

Local engineers made bumper deliveries across the north east including to Home-Start Garioch in Inverurie, handing over hundreds of priority items on the charity’s shopping list to bring a smile to 140 local children this Christmas.

Gifts included games, toys and books, arts and crafts, selection boxes, cosy blankets, hats and gloves along with wrapping materials and gift bags.

Richard Milne, Openreach patch manager for Grampian, said: “Earlier this year our fibre engineers collected thousands of items for food banks, and we decided to do it all again for Home-Start to support vulnerable families this Christmas.

"This time the whole of Openreach and BT Group has got behind it – and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our people."

More than a decade has passed since Chris Farmer’s family was first involved with Home-Start, and the charity’s support was even more vital when the mother of his children passed away, leaving him to bring up two small children single handed.

Openreach engineer Chris said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to give something back this Christmas and the support from across the company has been overwhelming.

"It’s brilliant to see what can be done collectively as a team.

"It’s going to make a big difference on Christmas Day when kids wake up to a bagful of toys, games, chocolate and sweets – there’s a multitude of gifts been donated.”

Vivien Waterfield, deputy chief executive for Home-Start UK, added: “We are delighted that Openreach is supporting our families with this incredible project.

"It has been a difficult year for families so we are thrilled that these Christmas gifts will help bring a smile to children and their parents.”