O2 in Bury is ten years old ‘ and is marking the special birthday with a week of celebrations at its Dumers Lane site.

The highlight will be a lunch today (Tuesday (18th August, 2009) for the 30plus members of staff who have been working in the centre since it first opened. They will be presented with commemorative birthday cards by Cheryl Black, O2 UK’s Director of Customer Service.

One of those celebrating a decade at O2 is Amanda O’Hare who started her career as a receptionist at the site and welcomed all the newcomers through the doors. She also was the first person to answer a call.

‘I remember the first day like it was yesterday. I was kitted out in my new receptionist suit and felt very nervous but proud to be the first point of contact for the opening of Bury Contact Centre. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was dashing around to ensure everything was ‘perfect’ for those very important people to arrive on the day,’ said Amanda.

‘We had no reception area as such but just a desk with one phone and two chairs. I remember the first call coming in and my heart skipped a beat with fear. Everyone stopped in their tracks and just looked at each other, and then someone shouted, is someone going to answer that, obviously that was my cue to answer the first call ever into the call centre.’

Amanda, who is now a PA, has seen a number of changes over the past 10 years but says she still enjoys working at O2.

‘The most important thing for me is having the opportunity to work with so many kind hearted people who still make it a pleasure to walk through those doors each day.’

O2 in Bury began life in the former warehouse in summer 1999 as BT Cellnet. Local people were recruited to the workforce and trained in nearby centres before spending time at O2’s offices in Leeds to familiarize themselves with live calls. It is now the town’s largest employer with more than 1200 people working in O2 Customer Service and Tesco Mobile

Staff throughout the past ten years have been big supporters of the local community. Last year, they raised £29,000 for Bury Crossroads and Macmillan as part of their O2 It’s Your Community efforts. Teams regularly support Young Enterprise, Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary and were the town’s first company to sign up for Number Partners, a project working with primary school children on numeracy skills. Their efforts were recognised last year when O2 were named Community Business of the Year in the Call North West 2008 awards.

Head of O2 Bury, Sarah Sargent, said she is proud of the commitment and spirit of the people working in Bury.

‘It is a very special week for us that we wanted to mark in a celebratory fashion with special lunches, a giant birthday cake, quizzes, karaoke and fancy dress,’ said Sarah. ‘I’m proud of the people who work here. They are a committed team who work hard to give our customers a great experience. They have a wonderful spirit and are passionate about the local community.’

One family has extra special reason to celebrate

Eight members of the same family work at O2 in Bury and so have extra-special reasons to mark the 10th anniversary.

Laura Hobson, who works in Learning & Development, met her husband, Will, at O2. Her mother Carolyn, a receptionist, cousin Sadie McNamara and brother Adam also work at the centre. In fact, her brother met his wife, Claire at the workplace. While working at O2, Laura’s mum Carolyn also discovered she had a cousin in-law, Carol Hosker who works in Tesco Mobile with her daughter Lucy Hosker. So that’s 8 members of the same family!

‘As you can see, O2 has played a really important part in our lives. We are all very proud of the part O2 has played in our lives,’ said Laura.

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