CALL centre workers swapped telephones and keyboards for shovels and dominoes for a day volunteering at a Teesside care home.
Staff from BT’s Middlesbrough office carried out gardening work and engaged in activities with elderly residents living at The Gables Care Home, on Highfield Road.
As part of the telecoms business’s volunteering programme, almost a dozen call centre advisors and a team manager spent the day at the home.
They tidied the garden, removing weeds and sweeping leaves, planted flowers, repainted a fence, benches and plant pots, cleaned the green house and planted seeds for tomatoes, lettuce, onions and other vegetables.
After the gardening work, they shared a hot drink with residents, while reminiscing about the town and their own careers, as well as playing a few rounds of dominoes.
Ben Donaldson, a BT call centre advisor, said: “I wanted to help change people’s lives for the better and, as team, we wanted to give back to the older generation.
“It was a fulfilling experience that really brought the team together in a way that we hope benefited the residents too.”
Jacqui McKeown, also a BT call centre advisor, said: “It was rewarding to be able to give something back and the best day we have had as a team.”
The Gables Care Home resident, James Haslam said: “It was great to see the guys in the garden getting it ready for the summer and then spending some time with me.”
Fellow resident Kevin McKenna said: “They really made a good job of our garden to enjoy in the sun.”
Home manager Pam Rodgers said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the BT team for volunteering at our home.
“They have made a huge difference to the garden and the residents loved chatting to them and sharing their memories of the town and what they did for a living.
“It was a fantastic day, enjoyed by call, and we hope we’ll see them again in future.”