PD Ports, owners and operators of Teesport and the largest private employer in the Tees Valley, is the latest to join a Who’s Who of local businesses officially supporting charity Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation having officially signed up as a Patron of the Middlesbrough-based charity, cementing a longstanding relationship between the two organisations.
Middlesbrough-headquartered PD Ports is the owner of Teesport, the fifth largest port in the Uk, and is also the Statutory Harbour Authority for the River Tees, overseeing river management and the safe navigation of vessels.
The port operator joins a long list of businesses focused on sharing their success with struggling Teessiders. Fellow Patrons include Bulkhaul, Cleveland Cable Company, Devereux Transport and Distribution, Erimus Insurance Brokers, Caswells Group, Racz Group, Middlesbrough College, Charles Clinkard and AV Dawson.
Despite its size, PD Ports says it is focused on cultivating a culture of care, supporting many good causes, encouraging staff to get on board with their good works and being dedicated to helping young people.
“We decided to become patrons of the Philanthropic Foundation because we love the spirt of the organisation and its commitment to helping those who need support the most,” said Kirsten Donkin, PD Ports Head of PR, Marketing and Communications. “We share similar cultural values of respect, support and empowerment.
“Being an umbrella charity, the Foundation is able to help many different organisations and individuals at the very heart of the community. They’ve always had the best of intentions and know exactly where to deliver funds to ensure that the money makes the most difference to the people of Teesside.”
PD Ports stepped up to the mark during Covid, not only supporting the Foundation with various good causes, but putting aside £50,000 to support charities nominated by their employees.
“We used £10,000 of that amount to supply iPads to James Cook and North Tees hospitals to help those being treated for covid to connect with their loved ones,” said Kirsten. “It was Diane at the Foundation who facilitated this for us – another good reason why we decided to formalise our relationship.”
Supported by the charity’s founder Andy Preston, a £5,000 donation to the Foundation also kicked off the Philanthropic Foundation’s digital poverty appeal that has now topped £100,000.
Kirsten is excited to be part of the decision-making process that comes with being a Foundation Patron.
“I am really looking forward to working with the Foundation and making a positive difference amongst the local community” she said. “We want to help improve society on Teesside. Our efforts have already been recognised via the chamber of commerce with a Business Hero stamp, but this is another way of leaving a legacy of care.
“We have a duty to make tomorrow brighter for the next generation.”
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