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BT Community Connections re-accredited with a big tick from the business in the community


BT Community Connections (BTCC) award scheme has been re-accredited with a Big Tick from Business in the Community. It is the third year that the BTCC award scheme has been recognised by Business in the Community with a Big Tick and as a result it demonstrates excellence in the way BT organises and integrates responsible business practice and shows that the award scheme has a positive impact on both society and business.

BTCC provides community groups with IT equipment and network packages to ensure they are up to date with digital technology which assists the growth of their organisations. The award scheme runs over a period of 18 months and offers three levels of awards in total. Since the scheme began in 2000, the first level of the award has presented more than 4,600 packages of PCs and internet connectivity to an eclectic mix of community groups across the UK. The second level of award is the e-ffective Connection and offers a range of IT ‘packages’. The third level - a National Award - offers £5000 of bespoke business advice to six successful community groups and is the highest level of recognition within the scheme.

Last year BT Community Connections entered into the BUPA Healthy Communities category of the Business in the Community Awards for Excellence and was Highly Commended. This year the award scheme has been reaccredited with a Big Tick assessed on the award scheme’s enhancements and sustainability.

Key changes to the award scheme include enhanced online functionality – a new website was developed to conform with WC3 AAA accessibility levels and to enable 60+ judges across 12 regions to fit judging into their busy schedules demonstrating the power of technology. Application forms are now available in Braille, audio, large print and are also produced in Welsh. Further developments within the scheme mean that winners receive, as well as their IT equipment, an updated CD training disc, Microsoft Office 2007, BT Total Broadband and also are given access to a free website builder.

Beth Courtier, BT’s head of charity programmes said: “BTCC continues to be a successful award scheme which offers not only new PC and IT equipment but tailored business advice to those groups that win the BTCC National Award. We have been delighted to see more and more community groups apply for the award making a very real difference to those that don’t have access to a PC in their day to day lives which so many simply take for granted.

“Independent research was carried out at the end of the last year of BT Community Connections by Citizens Online to evaluate the scheme’s success, the continued need in the market place and its sustainability moving forwards. One thousand interviews were conducted which included in-depth qualitative research with recipients, judges, unsuccessful applicants and a control group of non-applicants. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It proved that the scheme has not only provided a genuine advantage to thousands of small organisations and tens of thousands of beneficiaries, but also that there is still a great need for this award scheme.

“We are delighted to have been recognised again by Business in the Community which acknowledges the scheme has wide appeal, reaches so many different people and achieves digital inclusion for those who do not normally have access to IT equipment”


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