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BT Scotland, a purposeful company

At BT, we use the power of communications to make a better world. Through the work we do every day, we want to make things better for our customers, our business and Scottish society as a whole.

We’re already making that happen, and have been for years, through our networks, technology and expertise - meeting the needs of our customers and delivering the experience, products and services that matter to them.

And we want to do more, with big ambitions in three main areas.

Three big ambitions 

We’re proud to invest more than £1.1 million in Scottish community and charity programmes each year. A lot of those initiatives focus on helping people use the internet – so they can enjoy all the benefits of being connected. We give our time in a variety of ways, volunteering with charities and community groups, and we make sure we have a positive impact on the environment.

BT’s MyDonate service – a commission-free online fundraising service for UK charities, with no set up fee or monthly charge – has helped raise more than £2 million for charities in Scotland. The BT Community Web Kit has also helped small charities across the nation build 830 websites.

Helping people go online

  • We’ve just completed a three-year investment into a major digital inclusion project, Get IT Together. Through this project, we’ve helped people across some of the most remote geographies of the Highlands and Islands to develop the skills and confidence they need to take their first steps online.
  • We’re a founder signatory of the Scottish Council For Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) Digital Participation Charter. The charter is a national movement to promote digital participation and basic digital skills, maximising the benefits from Scotland’s investment in digital infrastructure and ensuring everyone has the access, motivation and basic digital skills to participate fully in our digital world. We’re also investing £25,000 in the SCVO Digital Challenge Fund in 2015/16 to support third sector organisations which are helping people to get online in their communities.
  • Working in partnership with the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and the Scottish Government, we ran a pilot providing wi-fi and digital skills training to hundreds of GHA tenants in high rise flats in Knightswood. Building on the success of this pilot in Scotland, BT now offers this affordable wi-fi service to social housing associations across the rest of the UK.
  • We provide free, downloadable digital skills guides packed full of hints and tips to help anyone use the internet.   

Supporting young people

  • Young Engineer and Science Clubs: we’re a key supporter of The Young Engineer and Science Clubs network, working hard in around 900 primary and secondary schools across Scotland. It’s designed to promote education and career ambitions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) – subjects considered essential for the future economy in Scotland. In particular, the Young Engineer and Science Clubs aim to encourage young female students in seeing these traditionally male subjects as fun, exciting and relevant careers.
  • Employability Skills for Young People- Alongside our Apprenticeship and Graduate programmes, we run a Work Inspiration project. This provides hundreds of young pupils with employability skills training, helping them make the transition from school to work or further education. We’re also a founding member of the UK Movement To Work initiative, helping long term unemployed young people. This is a new initiative, kicking off in three pilot locations across Scotland this year. 

Sharing our skills

  • Working with UNICEF UK, our volunteers trained teachers, parents and students in internet safety in around 22 Scottish schools last year – one of the many initiatives we offer to keep our customers and their families safe online.
  • BT employees in Scotland support numerous charity and community initiatives and in the last year donated more than 3,330 days or 24,190 hours of volunteering estimated to be worth more than £1 million. In Scotland, BT volunteers are involved in activities ranging from coaching football and running sports clubs to working in schools and hospices; helping young people develop employability skills and mentoring young business start-ups; taking on civic roles such as reserve forces, special constables and Children’s Panels; and raising funds for charities and supporting major telethon and disaster emergency appeals – such as Children In Need and Comic Relief. We give our people three working days ever year to help the charities and community groups closest to their hearts. 

Working for the environment

  • Scotland has some of the toughest environmental targets in the world, with its Climate Change Act setting a target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. It also set an interim target for a 42 per cent cut in emissions by 2020. At BT, we’ve got our own 2020 ambition: to help our customers cut their emissions by three times our own carbon impact. Using our technology, we offer low carbon products and services to help our customers reduce their need to travel, for example. We’re also working hard to improve our own operations, buying 100 per cent of our energy in Scotland from wind farms based in the Scottish Borders and Caithness.

 For more information see our Purposeful Business 2017 report.