KIND-HEARTED apprentices have visited the charity they have taken to their hearts and minds as they embark on a campaign of volunteering.
EE employees have already donated 15 hi-tech tablets to St Teresa’s Hospice in Darlington so staff and patients can enjoy the Internet.
Now they are planning a series of fundraising events, including race and casino nights, pop-up clothing shops, raffles and a Just Giving web-page, to help the hospice continue its vital work.
Volunteers are also planning to help out in the hospice shop by sorting stock and with furniture restoration.
Their efforts will help EE apprentices compete in the National Brathay Challenge, an annual competition designed to test leadership, logistical and communication skills.
For team leader Rachel Bell the contest will have added poignancy as her father is ill with cancer.
The 23-year-old customer service apprentice, of Darlington, said: “It is particularly close to my heart as my dad isn’t very well.
“It is also an honour to be doing something worthwhile for St Teresa’s which does a fantastic job for the community. Visiting the hospice gave us a real feel for what it is about and it was very touching to hear all the various stories.”
The Brathay Challenge is supported by the National Apprenticeship Service and more than 700 apprentices have entered this year. Finalists will be announced in May culminating in a logistical and teambuilding finale at Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters from July 6-8.
St Teresa’s chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “It was great to meet the EE apprentices and we are delighted to have them on board. The donation of the tablets was very kind and incredibly useful for patients and staff.
“We are looking forward to them volunteering and to see how they raise money for us, which is particularly timely as we try to finance a new in-patient unit. Of course we will be rooting for them in the Brathay Challenge as well.”
EE chief of customer service Francoise Clemes added: “We’re hugely proud of what our apprentices have achieved since we set up the scheme and we’re all cheering them on as they take to the national stage.”
The EE Brathay Challenge team 2015 comprises Rachel Bell, Andrew Robinson, Natalie Marshall, Lewis Harrop, Connor Ross and Daniel Palmer with three colleagues from London.