Big hair, big fun, big noses, big cheques and a big effort by BUPA Health Insurance employees in Manchester and Staines - it must be Red Nose Day again. Comic Relief has called on BUPA's call centre staff to rise to the challenge and help out and they have.
After the success of 2005, hundreds of volunteers from BUPA will once again be donning headsets and joining forces with Comic Relief. Over one million people are expected to call the official Comic Relief Donation line on 16 March and to cope with demand BUPA have lined up 400 volunteers to man some 160 'red-hot' lines to take their donations.
In fact these efforts are part of BUPA's biggest-ever staff challenge. The Red Nose Day volunteers expect to take thousands of calls in the five and a half hours the lines stay open, the climax of a whole week of fundraising. All the money raised will go towards the Comic Relief grand total that will help poor and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa to help themselves.
Some of the volunteers have never even worked in a call-centre before and have taken time out to train for the night – making sure that as many donations as possible can be taken. At the last Red Nose Day in 2005 the two BUPA Health Insurance call centre's handled an impressive 7,600 calls and took over Â£200,000 in donations.
Catherine Prince, who has been directing Comic Relief operations in BUPA's Salford Quays call centre, said: "People loved taking part in 2005 and this year is going to be no different. The interest has been phenomenal and we have been inundated with people wanting to volunteer. The atmosphere on the night is going to be buzzing – as will be the phones. What a chance for all of us to make a hands-on difference and keep that money rolling in for Comic Relief. It's going to be a lot of fun as well."
It certainly should be. Big Red Noses and big fun will be the order of the night as will entertainment for the hundreds of volunteers. BUPA's Health Insurance employees are also planning a big entertainment marathon as they line up to auction off a stay in a luxury hotel and flying lessons. An Elvis look-a-like, caricaturist's and magician David Penn from the Channel 4 show 'Freaky' will also be on hand at the call centres.
Fergus Kee, BUPA Health Insurance's MD, said: "We are very excited about all the events taking place for Red Nose Day. The enthusiasm and hard work is inspiring and I'm sure we can make the day and evening a huge success."
In fact employees from all areas of BUPA will be donning Red Noses and raising money for Comic Relief and every pound collected will be matched by BUPA's Community Connections. The BUPA Community Connections team was set up to give assistance and support to all the good work already being done by BUPA people in their communities and to encourage more people to get involved.
Notes to editors:
- BUPA is the UK market leader in health and care with a strong international presence. It has 8 million customers in 180 countries and 42,000 employees. Its main interests are health insurance, hospitals, care homes for older people and young disabled, health assessments, workplace health and childcare services. Sanitas in Spain, HBA in Australia, IHI in Denmark and AMEDEX in the US are all part of the BUPA Group. BUPA reinvests all its surpluses back into the business. The BUPA Foundation is an independent charity which funds medical research.
- In 2005 BUPA's Salford Quays call centre in Manchester and BUPA's Cedar House call centre in Staines handled around 7,697 calls and raised approximately Â£216,330 in donations.
- For further information please visit www.rednoseday.com
- Red Nose Day aims to tackle poverty and social injustice in the UK and Africa
- Since its launch in 1985 Comic Relief has raised over Â£425 million
- 40% of the money raised directly through Red Nose Day is allocated to work in the UK and 60% goes to work in Africa