Hi everyone, my name is Jo Kelly. I work in the Prepay Retentions department in Preston Brook. I have been volunteering for Our Blueprint activities over a number of years and I have been asked to share this blog about my success’ within Our Blueprint.
I have been involved in a few different Our Blueprint (previously Think Big) projects which have included attending schools, hosting visiting the call Centre, supporting young children and a number of other activities.
Over the last 3 years, I have really enjoyed volunteering for the Careers Carousel events in partnership with St. Helen’s Chamber. Unusually for a career centered event, it involves visiting Primary schools and speaking to Year 6 pupils (ages 10/11). Prior to the event, which is also attended by various local businesses and services such as Police and Fire Service, the children complete activities to learn about why we work, what the value is to the community, and tax etc. On the day of the event I turn up, set up my banners and leaflets, sometimes I have pens and badges to give them, and await their pre-prepared questions.
The children often ask a lot of the same questions, focusing on how much I earn, how long I’ve been here, what hours I work, training and qualifications requirements, level of enjoyment, benefits of working for o2, and so on. Sometimes, the pupils will surprise me and throw out a question developing from the conversation, and I like to ask them some questions too. It’s often fascinating and refreshing to speak to these young minds of a generation where school life has always involved smartphones, tablets, iPad’s and internet within easy reach at all times. Invariably they all have an iPhone or Samsung already!
I have recommended attending these events to colleagues around me, and even created a presentation on my experiences and encouraging others to get involved. I have volunteered for Our Blueprint opportunities for a variety of reasons. It challenges me personally to meet new people, and represent O2 in the community; it is a change of scenery and new people to engage with which can re-motivate me; it develops my leadership and communication skills, and it also reminds me of all the positive aspects and my pride of working for O2. The Careers Carousel event, in particular, really resonates with me as I fully support the idea of preparing children for the world of work and what it can be like in reality both in positive and negative ways, and promoting the idea of supporting their community and country by, contributing in a positive way to the society which provides us with so much in return. I absolutely will volunteer for the same event, next year as I thoroughly enjoy it, and have built a professional relationship with the organizer of the programme.