The phone system that for years dealt with calls at the old Les Quennevais School has been given a new lease of life after being donated to a local charity.
The Beresford Street Kitchen needed to upgrade its phone system to one that was able to handle multiple calls but had been putting it off due to cost until two regular customers made a welcome suggestion.
JT engineers Peter Vasse and Vinnie Harkin, who often take their lunchbreaks at the popular café in town, were asked to look at the aging phone system. Knowing there was one at the old Les Quennevais School that was no longer needed, they asked the school whether it could be given to the charity to cover its needs instead.
Alexander Richardson, Business and Facilities Manager of Les Quennevais School, said: “Peter knew the old system backwards. He had helped install it and worked with us at the school to keep it working properly. We like to maintain continuity in our relationships with outside companies and when Peter and Vinnie moved with us to the new school and started installing the new system, Peter had the lightbulb moment. We are really pleased we were able to help out and we had no idea that it could be put to such good use. The old phone system was perfect for what the charity needed, and we were happy to support his great idea to donate it to Beresford Street Kitchen and further strengthens the school’s links with JT who we were able to collaborate with to help this charity.”
Gabby Ellmers, Managing Director of Beresford Street Kitchen, commented: “We have always enjoyed having Peter and Vinnie as customers and it was so typical of them to come up with a way of helping us out. As we’ve grown over the last 3 years, our phone system simply couldn’t cope with what we needed it to do. It meant sometimes missing calls, crew members not being able to get through and a lot of running around the building to get messages to areas with no phone lines. We are extremely grateful for the generous donation from Les Quennevais School and to Peter and Vinnie for the many hours they put in at night installing the system. Now with the help of the school and JT, we are always able to answer those important calls from our crew, partners and customers and it will help support our future growth to enable us to provide training and employment for more people with learning disabilities and autism.”
Tom Noel, JT’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, added: “At the beginning of this year we set up a Sustainability Team to pool ideas from across the company to help achieve our aim of becoming a carbon neutral business and a contributor to a carbon neutral island by 2030. We welcome and encourage all ideas and opportunities to recycle, reuse and reduce and when Peter and Vinnie suggested this, it really was a no brainer. We’re already making great strides in reducing waste, and this idea is at the heart of what we as a company are trying to do to minimise our impact on the planet. We’re really proud that our people feel empowered to help others and can be part of change for the better. Peter and Vinnie fitted the system in their own time, wanting to get the charity’s new system running as soon as possible. Not only is this a great example of a circular economy, it’s also a really great example of how we can all work together to achieve something good within our local community.”
JT has become the latest large company to begin replacing its vehicle fleet with zero emission alternatives. Ten years ago, it was hard to imagine being able to drive more than a few miles in an electric vehicle, on a single charge – today it is very different and with an ever-growing network of charging facilities, more and more Channel Islands businesses are making the transition from fossil-fuel to low carbon electric transport.
JT have begun their transition by purchasing ten Nissan electric vehicles, starting by replacing the oldest of JT’s fleet of Suzuki vans, supporting their goal of achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2030.
Tom Noel, Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, said: “JT has one of the largest commercial fleets in Jersey, with almost 100 cars used daily by our engineers. Our aim is to not only replace all petrol and diesel vehicles but to reduce the number of vehicles on our roads, supporting that with charging points in key locations. As a business that has placed sustainability at the heart of everything we do, we’ve made initiatives like this a key priority of our Sustainability Strategy over the next decade.”
The EV’s may be new to JT but all have been bought at auctions having previously been used by councils in Scotland in keeping with JT’s policy to reuse, reduce and recycle wherever possible.
JT’s people are key participants and drivers of JT’s sustainability programme with many of their ideas now being adopted companywide, including going 100% paperless for note taking by using Rocketbook Fusion notebooks, re-usable water bottles, a solar panelled building and an employee voucher scheme for e-bikes.
‘Moments of global crisis often lead to historical change and the recovery from the pandemic presents a huge opportunity for Governments, businesses and individuals to put action on climate at the heart of their efforts,” said Tom.
Following the announcement of the ‘circuit breaker’ over Christmas and New Year, JT is providing a series of measures to help its customers, many of whom will be working from home or self-isolating.
In addition to the 1GB broadband speeds, which have continued to be available island wide since March, customers can make free landline calls to local numbers while the restrictions announced on Wednesday remain in place. Customers who are not already on an unlimited home broadband contract will not be charged if they go over their monthly broadband usage limit during this time.
Daragh McDermott, Managing Director JT Channel Islands, said: “We wanted to act quickly to support those in greatest need at this time of year. We also wanted to support the Government’s plans to keep islanders safe which is why we’re making it free for our customers to stay in touch as we head towards Christmas. We’ve got one of the fastest networks in the world and we want to make sure that all of those who are now working from home will have the same access as they would if they were in the office. Whilst the vast majority of our customers are already on unlimited packages, for those who are not, no further charges will be applied in the event of them going over their allowances for usage while this period of uncertainty continues.”
During December, JT will be keeping a close eye on COVID-19 developments and will continue to work closely with the Government and the Regulator to support the community as the pandemic continues.
A team of volunteers from JT have joined others reconnecting with their island’s natural beauty last week swapping their desks for a day of volunteering for the National Trust in Jersey. The team helped maintain bird hides and reed beds in St Ouen.
Six members of JT’s new sustainability team supported the Trust with habitat restoration and enhancement of the bird hides and reeds at Les Mielles de Morville. It’s part of JT’s commitment to our local environment and community and our desire to help support the wellbeing of islanders.
Jon Parkes, Lands Manager for the National Trust for Jersey, said: “Like everyone, the Trust has had an unusual year with plenty of challenges, but we are lucky enough to work with lots of corporate partners and groups. This year has seen the countryside, including National Trust sites, busier than ever, as people rediscovered the island they knew and discovered parts they never knew existed. We are delighted that people are reconnecting with nature and really valuing what we have here in Jersey. Support for the Trust from local businesses like JT is really meaningful. Especially in difficult times like these, when we all need to work together for the benefit of our community and island.”
The National Trust is continuing with its busy programme of conservation and management work at its sites across the island.
Tom Noel, JT’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability said: “JT is actively pursuing our new strategy which puts our planet, our people and our community at the heart of everything we do. It’s not only about reducing carbon emissions, it’s also about how our people are embracing sustainability, coming up with their own ideas for green initiatives and supporting local organisations such as the National Trust. Seeing our volunteers so passionate on such a worthwhile project like this, demonstrates their genuine commitment to making a real difference. These projects are great for team building, exposing people to new experiences and really helping to keep our environment at the forefront of all our minds, helping to maintain and protect our island for future generations – plus, it’s something we really enjoyed.”
It’s been a year where many of us have had to adapt and it’s no different in the North Pole where Santa and his trusty team have embraced technology and come up with new ways to see and hear from children all over the world.
Sadly, Santa can’t make his usual stop at the JT shop this year, so he and his busy Elves have teamed up with JT to provide a live feed to Santa’s home on Facebook making sure children across the Channel Islands won’t miss out.
Mrs Claus, who manages Santa’s very tight schedule has come up with a great idea. To make sure no time is lost making presents, Santa and his elves will chat to children while they take a break for breakfast. It will be a chance for parents to gather their little ones between 9:30 and 10:30 on each of the Sunday’s – 6th, 13th and 20th – in December to speak to Santa who will be live from his home in the North Pole, sharing in the magic of Christmas together.
Tamara O’Brien, Group Head of Marketing, Brand and Customer Experience, said: “Meeting Santa is one of the most magical experiences children can have at Christmas. It’s an annual tradition that we had to help make happen and we were so pleased when together with Santa’s team we found a solution so that local children can see and speak to Santa virtually. Things may look a little different this year, but we are so pleased that we can help keep everyone connected this Christmas.”
Parents and children will be able to type their questions and present requests live on the Facebook stream and, with the help of one of his elves, Santa will respond.
There is no need to book. Simply register interest via Facebook Live events on the JTSocial page. Reminders and updates will be sent to those that register.