Emergency workers in Swindon have been surprised with a new rest room at Eastcott Community Centre thanks to a team of kind-hearted volunteers from Virgin Media O2.

After hearing that emergency workers in Swindon needed a resting space where they could sit, eat and have a break from their stressful day, and wanting to give back to the local community in an area where business is expanding its gigabit broadband network, Virgin Media O2 employee Vicky Tzanetis got to work – buying the equipment needed and bringing together a group of 7 colleagues to volunteer for the project.

In the space of just three days, the hard-working team collectively spent more than 65 hours working on everything from painting walls, installing new equipment, adding furniture, and laying carpets.

Thanks to their time, the new relaxing space has now opened – with emergency workers already enjoying the facilities.

The volunteers were able to take part thanks to Virgin Media O2’s ‘Take Five’ initiative, which offers all staff five paid volunteering days a year to support projects – either in-person or digitally – helping them give back and support their local community.

With around 17,000 employees working for the company nationwide, Virgin Media O2 staff are committed to offering their time to charities, community groups, and schools throughout the UK. The business is aiming to help 1 million people through volunteering by 2025.

Nicola Green, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2 said: “We launched ‘Take Five’ to make it easier than ever for all of our people to support their local communities and volunteer for causes that matter to them.

“Each month, our people volunteer in locations right across the UK and it’s wonderful to see how their hard work and dedication is making a difference to the communities we serve – including at Eastcott Community Centre.”

Stephanie Newton, co-chair of the Eastcott Community Centre said: “We were absolutely delighted to have met Vicky and her team at a time when we were looking to convert an unused space in our building into a rest room for first responders in the Eastcott Area of Swindon.

“As a charity, we were definitely feeling the impact of the pandemic and it was difficult to allocate financial resources to this project. The room had previously been used for storage and contained an old kitchen cabinet, so this was no easy task for the team.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the work the team did in renovating this space and the furniture donations which turned the room into a welcoming space. It is safe to say this project has been propelled forward by the generosity of the team for their time and skills.”

In May, Virgin Media O2 launched their first sustainability strategy as a joint business, the Better Connections Plan, outlining its bold commitments to cut carbon, champion circularity, and support communities as it upgrades the UK. The business aims to help tackle data poverty by connecting 1 million digitally excluded people; and equip 2 million people with the skills and tools to feel more connected to digital society by the end of 2025.

Virgin Media O2 also has pledged to connect community centres around the country to gigabit broadband and has launched a programme called Community Calling to provide devices to those in need.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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