We’ve been awarded a laptop by BT Community Connections!


Thanks to Tim and others who filled in the application form, BT Community Connections came to BrightSparks’ Artspace group on Wednesday 18th November 2009 to award us with a new laptop computer.

We had our pictures taken when we were presented with our new laptop

Silliness ensued as we had our pictures taken when we were presented with our new laptop. Anya Vidion (front left) CPN (PIER) Mental Health Team, Lydia Towsey (front right), BrightSparks chair, with l-r behind: Vernski Noble, Nick Morris, Ahmed Patel from BT, and Nick King.

BT Community Connections press release


A Leicester charity which uses the arts to help people suffering severe mental health problems has received a vital boost from BT’s Community Connections scheme, which offers a laptop and year’s free internet connection to community organisations.

Delighted at receiving the award BrightSparks secretary, Tim Sayers, said: “Quite simply the laptop will allow us to function. It will be used for organisation, research and promotion of the group. We are unique in Leicestershire and the surrounding areas in that we target people with severe and enduring mental health problems. The work we do through a variety of art forms, including poetry and comedy, gives people confidence and self esteem, improves their mood and ultimately offers hope for the future.”

Ahmed Patel, a BT East Midlands regional board member, handed over the award on Wednesday (18 November) at Art Space, a weekly drop-in arts workshop organised by BrightSparks. Due to the nature of BrightSparks and its target audience it is the drop-in nature of these sessions which makes it unique. Depending on the condition of people attending, there is flexibility for individuals to drop in every week for a few hours or for just ten minutes at a time.

Ahmed said: “BrightSparks fills a huge gap in the field of mental health and it is just these kinds of groups, set up within local communities that BT Community Connections is so pleased to be helping. If we can use technology and access to the internet to make a difference, we are achieving our aim of getting more members of communities online.”

BT Community Connections targets community and charitable groups to allow them to get online and reap the huge benefits available through accessing the internet and information technology. BT Community Connections operates across the UK and has already helped six million people who may never have plugged into the internet before.

Around a quarter of the UK’s population are lacking access, skills or the motivation to get online which can lead to missed opportunities in education and employment, as well as individuals and organisations losing out financially and socially.

As well as using its award to help run the organisation, BrightSparks also plans to utilise the laptop and internet access for some of its other activities which include a creative writing and poetry project aimed at black and minority ethnic mental health sufferers. The project named Comedy Asylum, is part of the Leicester Comedy Festival and Art Commissions which in the past have included an art installation for the local mental health trust.

And the good news for other groups is that BT Community Connections is not only open to new groups, but also to past winners through its Cluster Awards which allows up to five groups to apply together for a package of IT equipment. For more information or to apply for an award by 7 January 2010, simply visit http://www.btcommunityconnections.com.

– ENDS –

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Community Connections press office on 0845 257 6792 or the regional BT press office on 0800 085 0660.


BT Community Connections
Since 2000 more than 6,500 awards have been made to a diverse range of community groups with over six million beneficiaries.
The scheme is targeted at community and charitable groups in areas of deprivation with little or no IT provision.
BTCC Awards comprise a laptop and broadband connection.
BTCC Cluster Awards comprise a laptop, broadband connection and a tailored package of additional IT equipment for each group in that cluster.
The scheme has been accredited by the Business in the Community Awards for Excellence.

BrightSparks: Arts in Mental Health Group
The group is made up of mental health service users and interested people who are dedicated to promoting positive images of Mental Health through arts.
The group is always looking for funding to continue its work, please visit https://brightsparks.wordpress.com or contact Tim Sayers on 07956 879482 or tim.sayers@cooptel.net.

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to our customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2009, BT Group’s revenue was £21,390 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit http://www.bt.com/about.



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