Coates Hire’s Perth Customer Service Centre took to the phones to help with the 2018 TelethonCoates Hire’s Perth Customer Service Centre took to the phones to help with the 2018 Telethon
Coates Hire’s motto is ‘Let’s Make It Happen’, and during the weekend of October 20-21 the company’s Perth employees made it happen by working the phones at the Channel Seven Perth Telethon.
The 26-hour Telethon raised more than $38 million during the weekend - $1 million more than 2017. The event has been raising funds for children’s charities since 1968, the main beneficiaries being Perth Children’s Hospital and the Telethon Institute, with other organisations such as Starlight, Make-A-Wish Australia, Camp Quality and Legacy also receiving funds.
 
“They helped with the important closing shift on the Sunday night when the Telethon put on an extra effort for the final donations. Our call centre people were really excited about the challenge.”
James Naylor, Coates Hire’s Executive General Manager - West
The Telethon was started by WA network, TVW, in 1968 and has been continued at the Seven Network, driven by the passion of the Stokes family to make a difference in the WA community. It has been held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre since 2005 in a 26-hour televised format, starting on Saturday evening and finishing on Sunday night. The Telethon has traditionally featured entertainment from professionals and the Little Telethon Stars - two children each year who represent the thousands of kids who are helped by Telethon’s efforts. Performers over the years have included Sir Elton John, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Barnes, Tina Arena, Daryl Braithwaite, Def Leppard, Sammy Davis Jnr. and Cliff Richard.

A stand-out this year was 13-year-old Jayton Carter - a former Little Telethon Star with cystic fibrosis - who auctioned his long blonde hair which was cut off to be made into a wig for cancer survivors.
 
It takes a small army of volunteers to run the fundraiser and this year 13 Coates Hire employees volunteered to run the phones and process donations.

“They helped with the important closing shift on the Sunday night,” says James Naylor, Coates Hire’s Executive General Manager - West. “It was the period when the Telethon put on an extra effort for the final donations, and our call centre people were really excited about the challenge.”

Naylor says Telethon is a big event in Western Australia, with a total of more than $38 million donated this year.
“The Telethon assists to fund important medical research as well as supporting children and their families in their time of need. This is a big state and when children are seriously ill and have to come to Children’s Hospital, there has to be support for them and their families.”

“The Telethon assists to fund important medical research as well as supporting children and their families in their time of need. This is a big state and when children are seriously ill and have to come to Children’s Hospital, there has to be support for them and their families.”

Naylor says the Coates Hire employees in Perth wanted to donate their services and time. “They’re used to working the phones and this was a way they could donate their expertise and give back to the community.”
Dave Fry - Manager - Perth Customer Support Centre and Belmont Workshop - was one of the employees working at the Telethon. He says the Coates Hire team worked the final shift of the Telethon and were running the phones when the 50-year total for Telethon clicked over the $300 million mark.

“We were all in the conga line when we passed that milestone.”

Fry says the Coates Hire team were fifty per cent Customer Service Centre workers and the other fifty per cent were from branches. The team was required to process pledges and take payments and the work was “insanely busy.”

He says the Coates Hire team was organised by Ashlea King and the 13 volunteers all had a personal connection to the Telethon.

“I have two children with muscular dystrophy and one with autism, so we use the Children’s Hospital and we’re appreciative of what they do.”

Fry says there’s a strong spirit of community service at Coates Hire in Perth and he expects a bigger turnout in 2019.
 

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