O2 has won the Young Enterprise Merseyside Business Supporter of the Year award for their work with school children in Runcorn.

Staff from O2’s Preston Brook customer service centre held workshops at The Heath secondary school and Palacefields Primary School to help students develop business skills.

On Monday, Anthony Brown, area manager for Merseyside Young Enterprise presented the prestigious award.

John McGuigan, head of Consumer Customer Service for Telefonica O2 UK, said the award was great recognition for all the enthusiastic work that O2 people had done.

‘I am very proud of the way in which our people support the local community. They are given time during the working day to support projects with local agencies to prepare young people for work. But, in addition, they volunteer many hundreds of hours of their own time to connect with our local communities,’ said John.

O2 administrator Pamela Clifford, who coordinates the work with Young Enterprise, said the volunteers had enjoyed running the workshops.

‘The staff who took part in the activities at The Heath and Palacefields Primary School found the experience very rewarding and enjoyed being able to share their skills and knowledge with the children,’ she said.

At The Heath, 22 volunteers from O2 organised a Crystal Maze-style challenge for the teenagers to develop their skills for working life.

Students had to work together in teams to solve mental, physical, skill and mystery challenges, honing their problem solving and communication skills.

At Palacefields Primary School, the O2 volunteers introduced fictional characters to teach pupils about the different jobs people have in the community.

Through fun, interactive activities including a trading game and an enterprise challenge pupils learned the basics of running a business.

Anthony Brown praised O2 for the enthusiasm and commitment they had devoted to Young Enterprise over the past year.

‘The success and added value of the Young Enterprise portfolio of programmes comes from its volunteers and strong links with industry. O2 have been a key partner in Halton, financing and supporting their staff to impart their knowledge and skills, delivering enterprise programmes in Moore and Palacefield Primary Schools, alongside The Heath Technology College’s highly successful enterprise day,’ he said.

‘It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge their support on Merseyside over this academic year, we look forward to working with them and all our partners closely in the future,’ Mr Brown added.

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