Big Interview

Pete Oliver, BT CSR Q&A: Right Click

Pete Oliver, commercial director of BT’s consumer division, talks to Capacity about the Right Click initiative set up by BT and UNICEF UK.

What are the aims of the new partnership between BT and UNICEF UK?

The Right Click initiative, launched in partnership with UNICEF UK on March 31, aims to help children benefit from the internet in a safe way. The programme will empower children to protect themselves online and teach parents to keep their children safe on the internet. We hope that our workshops will start communication between parents and children on the matter of online safety.

What actions will the programme take?

Together with UNICEF, and using our technical expertise on online security, we have developed digital and interactive workshops on online safety for parents, children and teachers. BT will train and accredit 600 volunteers from its staff who will run the workshops in schools throughout the UK, starting from June this year. The workshops are organised in two stages; training sessions for teachers will be held first, which will then be followed by workshops for parents and children. We hope to be able to reach 100 schools in the UK in the first year. In total, the initiative aims to deliver training to 600 schools, reaching a total of 21,000 parents and children through the workshops. The three-year programme is designed to equip teachers to continue the training independently, so we are expecting this number to rise to 35,000.

Why did BT decide to work with UNICEF?

The partnership is the first time UNICEF UK has involved corporate volunteers in its programme. UNICEF chose to work with us because of our expertise in online safety. The initiative builds on UNICEF’s existing Rights Respecting Schools programme, a programme targeting schools in disadvantaged areas making children aware of their rights. In addition to the workshops, BT funding will also allow UNICEF to recruit a further 80 schools in disadvantaged areas in the UK to the Rights Respecting Schools programme.

Why did you feel it was important to raise the profile of internet safety?

We felt we wanted to go beyond just technical solutions to internet safety. Research conducted by BT revealed that 52% of parents do not feel they have enough support when it comes to talking to their children about online safety, while 75% would welcome further support. An important part of this initiative is the volunteering side. We felt it was important to be involved and wanted to do more than just hand over the cheque.

How does the initiative complement BT’s other CSR programmes?

BT launched its Connected Society programme about 18 months ago. This programme aims to improve society through the power of digital connections. The programme targets unemployed, elderly and disabled members of the UK’s population. Our goal is to provide access to fibre-based products and services to more than nine out of ten people in the UK by 2020.

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