Charity hits on phone line money-spiner

AN enterprising charity has launched its own cut-price telecommunications project in a novel bid to help young people.ADHD in Suffolk aims to raise money for its services through its new ADHD Telecom scheme, which was unveiled this week.

AN enterprising charity has launched its own cut-price telecommunications project in a novel bid to help young people.

ADHD in Suffolk aims to raise money for its services through its new ADHD Telecom scheme, which was unveiled this week.

The charity is working with telecommunications firm ACN to encourage telephone users to switch from BT and, in return, ADHD in Suffolk will receive a percentage of the profits.

About ten members of the charity have already signed up to ACN but the charity is hoping to convince hundreds more to make the switch.

ADHD in Suffolk executive director Linda Sheppard said: "Our target is for 2,500 as soon as possible.

"It we can get 2,500 customers then we stand to make £48,000 each year."

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Deregulation of the telecommunications industry has led to a flood of new companies offering rival services to BT.

Among them are Ipswich Town Football Club, which launched Town Telecom earlier this year and considers it an important way of raising money for the club.

An Ispwich Town spokesman said: "A significant number of our supporters have already taken advantage of the savings to be gained by switching to Town Telecom.

"We're confident that many more will follow suit, thus saving money for themselves and generating valuable revenue for the club."

Under the ADHD scheme, ACN offers its customers free calls to fellow customers and says other calls are the same price as charged by BT or cheaper.

"If they get 2,500 customers they get eight per cent of every telephone bill," ACN regional vice president Barbara Carter said.

"This is an opportunity for them to have a slice of a trillion pound industry.

"At the end of the day all these people are going to have is cheaper phone calls and they'll be helping people at the same time."

ADHD in Suffolk, which supports families with children who suffer Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has already switched its helpline to the carrier.

The partnership came about after a member of the charity, who is also an ACN employee, suggested it as a more successful way of raising money than the car boot sales and carnival floats that ADHD in Suffolk has traditionally used.

"We've done the London marathon, we've done carnival floats, we've done car boot sales. This is a way of doing it where we don't have to do anything," Mrs Sheppard said.

The charity was formed eight years ago by parents and carers of children with ADHD, a neurological condition, which affects about one per cent of children in the UK.

After several years of scraping by on limited funding it is hoping its ADHD Telecom scheme will help it to raise enough money to build a resource and respite centre in the area.

Do you think this is a good way to raise money for worthy causes? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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