Poverty Hurts Appeal: Local businesses rally.

Businesses throughout the North-East have come up with ways as unique as they are themselves to support the Poverty Hurts Appeal. These are their stories.  

*Please note, since this story was published in the Northern Echo, we have many more businesses and individuals to thank, and will do so in the New Year! Thank you to everyone who has made the Appeal such a success.

Proceeds from Durham Business Club’s grand Christmas raffle will go to the Appeal. A total of £1,600 was raised!  

Alison Gittins, CEO of Durham Business Group, said: “We’ve many worthy causes within Durham Business Club, but this one really touched our hearts. More than ever this year, there are people in need, in our region, and that’s why we’ve chosen to give the proceeds of the DBG Grand Christmas Raffle to the Poverty Hurts Appeal. We are grateful to have generous members and confident we can smash the target together and have had some wonderful prizes donated. County Durham Community Foundation do amazing work fuelled by passion and ambition, getting the funds to where they are needed most, and we’re proud to support. Nobody should have to go without this winter, especially after the hardship people have faced over the past two years.” 

Seaham-based company UMi, made a £4,000 donation to the Appeal. 

Nicki Clark, chief executive of UMi, said: “Alongside helping businesses to do more and go further, a key part of our purpose is to make a positive difference to the world around us.  

“We established the UMi Community Fund with County Durham Community Foundation, supporting local charities to enrich the areas where the UMi team live and work across the UK. We’re incredibly proud to have donated £4,000 for the Community Foundation’s crucial Poverty Hurts campaign, supporting disadvantaged individuals across County Durham and Tees Valley.    

“Working with the Community Foundation network, UMi is able to make a difference in the world around us, reaching important charities to help isolated and vulnerable people, and advocate positive change across the country.” 

The Banks Group, which has a fund with the Foundation, donated £5,000 to the Appeal. 

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director for The Banks Group said:   

“As a family owned, County Durham based business, The Banks Group has a development with care approach.  We believe that the communities which host our developments should benefit from them.  In short, we believe in giving back to the communities we serve.  That is why we donated to the Poverty Hurts appeal. This appeal will support many families in County Durham this winter. One-in-three children in our region live in poverty, and many elderly people will endure fuel poverty this winter.  But it does not have to be like this – there is a lot we can do to change this and supporting this appeal is one of them.” 

Wear Business editor Graeme Anderson raised almost £1,000 for the Appeal by taking part in Sunderland’s first CEO Sleepout at the Stadium of Light – sleeping rough in the very spot where he once reported on SAFC games for the Echo. 

Graeme said: “I’ve long admired the way the County Durham Community Foundation is able to zero in on the needs of local communities and target spending so that every penny is spent wisely and directly benefits those who need it the most.” 

CEO Sleepout Darlington brought together forty of County Durham and Tees Valley’s finest to dust of their sleeping bags for the Appeal and First Stop Darlington. 

CEO Bianca Robinson said: “My job takes me all over the UK, but on my own doorstep is where I see the most persistent poverty. People in Teesside are under the constant pressure of poverty, often living in sub-standard housing, doing what it takes to survive. I’ve heard of families sleeping on floors because they can’t afford mattresses, some trying to get through winter without electricity, and some trying to manage without even a fridge. l am proud to support the Poverty Hurts Appeal with funds raised by our brilliant #ceosleepout Darlington participants.”