By NADINE FISHER
THE smile of little Felicite Mendjiel's face means more to the Tweed Heads Centrelink Call centre staff then any award.
The centre was recently awarded the Australian Teleservices Association's NSW award for being the top call centre in the State. But it's their sponsorship of the little African girl which has them on a high.
When the Tweed call centre staff realised they had $1000 left over in their tea club kitty, members tossed around a few options before voting to sponsor a child in a third world country.
Tea Club organiser Carole Heaton said staff members put in $2 a week to cover the cost of tea, coffee, sugar and milk.
"We were all surprised that we had so much over and all members voted on what we should do with the money," she said.
"The nature of the work at a call centre is to be here for the community, so members were keen to do something worthwhile with the funds we had over. And now we have sponsored this three-year-old girl, Felicite Mendjiel, who lives with her family in Chad, Africa for two years.
"We're a fairly large organisation which enables us to donate to charities. We often hold fundraising days."
Centrelink Tweed Heads Call Centre manager Leigh Tynan said everyone who worked there liked to help people.
"Our centre was recently awarded a national call centre award."
Mr Tynan said the Australian Teleservices Association's NSW award recognised the complex and high quality service the staff provided to Centrelink customers over the phone.
Mr Tynan said Tweed Heads Centrelink Call Centre was one of Centrelink's larger and busier call centres taking between 18,000 to 20,000 Family Assistance and Youth Allowance calls per week.
"The facilities and working conditions are world class and staff are well supported," he said.