PD Ports employee charity fund makes largest ever donation in support of Zoe's Place Baby Hospice

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PD Ports has made the largest ever donation through its employee charity and community fund, in support of a member of our team and his family who use the services of Zoe's Place Baby Hospice.

The grant of £7,500 for the purchase of a specialist bed was made following a request by Mike Lee, a business development analyst, who made an application to PD Ports’ Find It Fund It initiative after seeing the impact of the work done by Zoe’s Place as they support his daughter, Amelia, four, with family respite care.

Four-year-old Amelia sitting in the new bed purchased for Zoe's Place, alongside dad Mike Lee.

His request for help to pay for a specialist, secure bed for the Middlesbrough facility was agreed by PD Ports’ chief executive Frans Calje – by far the largest grant awarded in the scheme’s history – as a show of support for Mike and his family and to continue the company’s long-standing links with Zoe’s Place.

PD Ports’ monthly Find It, Fund It initiative aims to directly support worthy projects that are close to the hearts of the 1,400 people who work for the company and benefit smaller organisations that might otherwise get overlooked.

Applications for funding from the annual pot can be made by anyone who works for PD Ports, from any of our 11 sites nationwide, and can be made for smaller grants - to support a sports team with kit or equipment, for example - or a larger bid to support long-term, sustainable projects, such as a community garden or wider improvement works to a community building or facility.

The Find It Fund It large grant scheme has been in place at PD Ports since 2018 and has supported dozens of projects, with donations reaching more than £75,000 to date.

Frans said: “Find It Fund It is an amazing scheme because it puts our people at the heart of our charitable work as a business and means that funding is going direct to projects that they believe in and personally support and will make a difference to the social and physical well-being of our local communities.

“As a business we are long-term supporters of Zoe’s Place but knowing how important the facility is to Mike and his family, and so many other families across the region, we wanted to give our backing to this particular project, which will have lasting benefits for the children who use the service.”

Mike Lee said: “Zoe’s Place do so much for us as a family and we know Amelia is loved and well cared for whenever she goes to stay.

“We support their fundraising initiatives where we can, and when it became apparent that Zoe’s were in need of a specialist bed, I decided to put in the application for the Find It Fund It scheme. I was quite emotional when it was successful and so grateful for PD Ports’ support – the new equipment will benefit so many children and families in years to come."

Beth O'Gara, head of care at Zoe’s Place, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the continued support from PD Ports.

“This new piece of equipment is something we have wanted for some time, it’s perfect for our hospice as it has a soft padded flexible side that prevents injury and has a low-stimulation environment which is ideal for sleep. The children who visit Zoe's Place will benefit from this new bed.”

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