BT changes service thanks to perseverence of Warwickshire support worker

Angie Gwilliam of Way Ahead.
Angie Gwilliam of Way Ahead.

A south Warwickshire support worker’s determination to help a vulnerable client has prompted BT to make a national change in its directory services.

Angie Gwilliam, who works for the Warwick-based Way Ahead Support - which provides support to people with learning disabilities in Warwick district - was contacted by a client who had become distressed over receiving a phone bill from BT for more than £2,100.

Angie discovered that the woman had been calling BT’s 118 500 directory enquiries number repeatedly, assuming that the calls were free of charge. When Angie contacted BT, she was told that the company had a 195 directory enquiries number which was free of charge for vulnerable people - but it soon became apparent that people with learning disabilities had been left out of the eligibility for using this service.

Not only did Angie’s query result in the client getting her bill refunded, but BT also changed its eligibility criteria so that those with learning disabilities, like the client, would be able to use the free 195 number.

Warwickshire County Council contracts Way Ahead as part of its adult social care service. Jose Compton, the county councillor responsible for policy on adult social care, said: “This is a great example of how the council and our partners are constantly striving to deliver the best possible outcomes for vulnerable people within the community, creating environments where people are empowered and protected from harm. Well done to Angie Gwilliam for going the extra mile to get such a positive outcome.”

Way Ahead is part of Mid-Warwickshire Mencap and supports 70 people in Warwick district. The service has also recently taken over the Leamington mental health support charity Netherfield and it runs drop-in session at the Naval Club in Leamington.

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