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Openreach staff raise more than £2000 in 900 mile charity trek

Press Release   •   Jun 14, 2017 15:35 BST

Openreach CEO Clive Selley clutches the old red telephone handset used as the relay baton flanked by colleagues Gemma Flanighan, who’s based in Elgin, Inverness-based apprentice engineer Greg Forsyth and event organiser Derek Knox, from Renfrew.

More than 100 plucky Openreach employees who have been taking part in a 900-mile charity relay from Liverpool to Inverness will be able to put their feet up and have a well-earned rest following their arrival in the Highland Capital yesterday (Tuesday).

The intrepid bunch left Liverpool on Red Nose Day, Friday, March 24, and have been on the road ever since passing the “baton” – an old red payphone handset – from team to team.

Motorised transport was banned with the team members walking, running or cycling and even roller-blading across the Tay Road Bridge on the Dundee to Fife leg!

On their arrival in Inverness the group passed the baton to Openreach CEO Clive Selley, who had been visiting Openreach engineers at work in the far north on two ultrafast broadband projects in Bettyhill and Altnaharra.

Event leader Derek Knox from Renfrew said: “We’re a diverse bunch of people from Service Delivery who all work in Openreach. We wanted to do our bit to support Red Nose Day as well as doing something to connect us as a team. After all that’s what our job is all about!

“Many of us work in the 5,500 telephone exchanges which connect people across the UK and wider. So, it feels like a great focal point to include them in our adventures. After chatting with my team, one thing led to another and “Around The Patch in ATE Days” was born. It’s a bit of a play on words but this particular ATE refers to the Automatic Telephone Exchanges in which we work.”

The employees aim to raise more than £2000 for five charities, the Armed Forces charity ssafa, Ronald MacDonald House in Glasgow which supports families with children in hospital, Great Ormond Street, the world-leading children’s hospital in London, the Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia holiday home for families in St Andrews and We Are Macmillan cancer support.

For more information contact the Openreach Scotland press office on our free 24-hour number: 0800 085 0660.

About Openreach

Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 580 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2017, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

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