See the world through a different lens

Photography enthusiasts in Guernsey are being asked to consider the challenges and strengths people on the autistic spectrum have when taking part in a competition with a difference during World Autism Acceptance Week (28 March – 2 April).

Autism Guernsey is running a digital photography competition, sponsored by JT, with the theme ‘From a Different Angle,’ reflecting how autistic people see the world, hoping that the entries will give an eye-opening perspective on how we all see things differently.

Judges will choose the photo that best reflects the theme, regardless of whether it’s taken using a smart phone camera or the latest digital SLR, is in black and white or colour. The competition is open to everyone in Guernsey and the winner will receive  an Apple iPad, donated by JT, who have selected AG as their Chosen charity for 2022.

Mandy Rowlinson, Fundraising Manager for Autism Guernsey, said: “World Autism Acceptance Week aims to draw attention to people living with autism, both to educate those unaware of the condition, and to help make the world friendlier to those who are affected by it.

This year, with the help of the JT Team we’re running a digital photo competition which will showcase how we view things. I’m really excited to see just how objects can be viewed and explained differently, because as a society we are all different and embracing difference is what makes us a community.’’

All photos that are sent in will be displayed on a digital screen in the JT shop on World Autism Awareness Day, Saturday 2 April when the winner will be announced.

Tamara O’Brien, Deputy Managing Director, JT Guernsey, added: “Peoples’ understanding of Autism has improved greatly over the last few years. A powerful indication of this, is the campaign  to move from ‘awareness’ to ‘acceptance’, which is about helping people lead more fulfilling lives.  We are hoping Islanders will get involved in World Autism Acceptance Week and help us change attitudes and foster change, while at the same time reminding us, we are all unique, all different and sometimes we need to look at things from someone else’s viewpoint.’’

On Saturday 2nd April the Autism Guernsey team will be in the JT shop to chat to people about what they do. Accompanying them will be ‘Archie the Recycling Goat’ one of Autism Guernsey’s famous Goats from 2021, who helped to raise the profile of the Golden Guernsey Goat Trail, which raised money for Autism Guernsey and the Guernsey Adult Literacy Project.

Solar energy trial for JT exchange

Although the west of the island is generally more known for its fabulous sunsets, now the sun’s rays are being put to another use in a trial that will see one of JT’s telephone exchanges using renewable energy. In the first trial of its kind by JT, 84 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are being installed on the roof of the West Exchange in St Ouen’s Village.

JT’s 10-year Sustainability Strategy commits the company to move 50% of its energy consumption to renewable sources by 2025. This has already resulted in a successful project with the Little Green Energy Company in Sark to use the sun’s energy to help power the JT mobile network on the island.

In Jersey, JT is working with solar energy experts SunWorks to install the panels on the roof of the West Exchange building. The pilot will see the extent to which the solar can provide a supplementary source of electricity, if successful, it could be used across more sites around the island reducing JT’s reliance on the grid.

Tom Noel, JT’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, said: “We made a clear promise when we launched our Sustainability Strategy that we would apply its principals across every part of our business. One of the most visible demonstrations of that is to install solar panels on prominent sites and we hope that the trial will tell us whether it will work elsewhere. As a technology business, we use a large amount of energy and if we can switch to renewable sources of power where possible,  we will make less impact on the planet – using energy generated in the sunniest place in the British Isles.”

Mark Brandon, Director of SunWorks, said: “When a company like JT comes to us with plans to use renewable energy in a practical way, we know we are dealing with a client that’s speaking the same language as us. It is important for the larger local businesses like JT to consider where their electricity comes from and make all efforts to use local resources for electricity generation. This supports the global transition to renewables and can deliver significant long term savings on electricity.”

Employee Recognition goes digital with JT All-stars

JT has launched a new digital initiative that gives their people the opportunity to recognise and reward team members across all locations and in real-time for delivering on the company’s strengths.

With a passion for people and a drive for digital innovation, JT set about creating an easy to use, digital platform, that was managed by their own people, and was simple and engaging.

The new JT All-Stars recognition platform gives everyone the ability to thank their peers, colleagues and co-workers, and also gives Managers the option to allocate points that can be redeemed from an extensive range of prizes.

Having launched the scheme less than a month ago, already over 85% of JT’s 586 strong global team have activated their accounts, with over 1,000 peer recognitions being made.

This latest scheme is just one of a few digital initiatives being launched by JT resulting directly from listening to employee feedback. It’s part of the company’s innovative culture and drive to building an inclusive working environment, where people are encouraged to have a voice, so everyone feels valued and heard. So now, when a co-worker does something great, they can share that moment with the whole team or business by sending them a recognition in real time.

Laura Belo, JT’s Head of HR, said: “We’re so proud of our people and everything we achieve together, but what’s really special is seeing people taking the time to thank and reward each other. This new platform not only puts our people first it empowers them to create positive business outcomes and sustainable performance. Simple acts of kindness can go a long way and we’re thrilled with both the adoption rate and feedback from our people so far.”

Pedalling their way to work, JT joins EVie travel scheme

JT team members are being offered a 20% discount on using e-bikes and e-vehicles to help meet targets on reducing carbon emissions. The telecom company has joined the EVie Corporate Partner Programme which offers reductions on using EVie’s sustainable transport solutions.

The benefits of encouraging more people to cycle or use an electric vehicle include boosting productivity and wellbeing, but it also means fewer vehicles on Jersey’s roads as greener alternatives are chosen for getting to and from work and to meetings and work appointments.

The scheme offers JT team members discounted access to EVieBikes, EVie cars and vans, bike servicing and the BlueBike subscription that provides full-time use of a bike.

Tom Noel, JT’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, said: “We see this as a really positive step towards sustainable business travel. We already have a bike discount scheme where we provide our people with help towards buying a bike and the ongoing maintenance, but this partnership means they don’t have to own their own bike. Instead, they get the benefit of leading a healthier lifestyle through the scheme which is also helping JT meet its sustainability goals and contributes to the reduction of air pollution on Channel Island roads – it’s a win all round.”

Jamie Kelly, CEO of EVie, said: “We see our corporate partner programme as a way of making a real difference to reducing carbon emissions. Our programme aims to provide convenient, healthy and sustainable shared use travel. It helps by reducing the need to have private parking and cuts down on the use and demand for public parking spaces. To date, EVie users have displaced 55 tonnes of CO2. What works well for many businesses that have joined our Corporate Partner Programme is the BlueBike subscription that provides their people with a bike for their full-time use. It reduces the hassle and if something goes wrong, we’ll replace it with a new one.”

International line-up will take the stage at Cobo Bay once again

The Cobo Bay Balcony Gigs, proudly sponsored by JT and seen by many as an essential part of the Guernsey summer, is back for 2022 and for the first time in three years has a line-up of international acts, supported by Guernsey’s leading local talent.

The Balcony Gigs have always been about bringing people together and for a number of years JT has been using its technical support to live stream them on so that anyone who can’t make it to the gigs can join in the fun online from wherever they are.

A tribute to the legendary Duran Duran will kick off the series of free family friendly gigs continuing through the summer to the August Bank Holiday.

Tamara O’Brien, JT’s Deputy Managing Director in Guernsey, said: “Once again an awesome line up has been announced for the Cobo Bay Hotel Balcony Gigs, in this our 11th year of sponsoring the events. We know how lucky we are to enjoy these free events in such an idyllic location, which provided a massive boost for islanders over the past two years. Now as the world opens up, we can once again enjoy large outdoor gatherings with family and friends from outside the Bailiwick and this event marks a very special moment for Guernsey and our hospitality industry.

I always look forward to these events which to me signal the start of the Guernsey summer. There is some amazing musical talent here and the Cobo Bay Balcony Gigs are the best place to see them perform live.”

David Nussbaumer, organiser of Cobo Bay Hotel’s Balcony Gigs, said: “We are itching to get going and I am thrilled that we are bigger and better than ever, welcoming bands from the UK once again to this amazing west coast venue. Thanks to more than a decade of support from JT, we have together transformed the Summer Balcony Gigs into the most sought after event series each year. With this partnership we have kept the Guernsey summer alive even during the challenging times we have all faced. We have so much to celebrate and to be thankful for and we will be doing that all the way from May until the end of August. The true spirit of the Guernsey summer is coming, and I can’t wait.”

Keeping with the great Guernsey tradition of supporting local charities, a collection at every event will support the two charities being supported by Cobo Bay, Guernsey Cheshire Home and JT, Autism Guernsey.

Holding events in such beautiful surroundings comes with added responsibilities and all those attending will be asked to play their part to help ensure that Cobo Bay remains litter free by collecting and taking home their rubbish.