£15,000 donation from port community keeps Zoe’s Place open for full working week

Published On: 4th August 2022

Last week, a generous £15,000 donation, made up of voluntary contributions from vessels entering the River Tees, enabled Middlesbrough-based Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice to provide a week’s worth of care for six babies.

Alongside the standard dues and charges that vessels are required to pay under legislation, PD Ports, as the Statutory Harbour Authority for the River Tees, also allows for vessels to make voluntary contributions to a port welfare fund – created to give back to the communities and charities that surround the river including the RNLI and High Tide Foundation.

During Marine Week, an annual event to celebrate the wonderful marine life that resides in our seas and rivers, PD Ports allocated a proportion of that fund to Zoe’s Place as part of their ‘pay for a day’ scheme; a fundraising initiative whereby people, corporations and groups are encouraged to raise £3000 – the average cost to keep hospice doors open for just one day.

Tommy Harrington, Corporate Fundraiser at Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, commented: “We’re extremely grateful to PD Ports for choosing to support our hospice. The funds donated will help us to continue to provide specialist care for our babies, and we can’t thank PD Ports and the whole river community enough for their amazing donation.”

Teesport is the fifth largest port in the UK, handling in excess of 28 million tonnes of cargo each year via the thousands of vessels that visit the many industries along the banks of the river.

As legal guardians, PD Ports is responsible for overseeing all vessel traffic management and collecting dues to support safe navigation and maintenance of the river. CEO, Frans Calje OBE, said he was delighted that the donations from across the port community had gone to such a worthwhile cause.

“We are delighted to have been able to make this donation on behalf of the whole river community along the Tees and we are incredibly grateful for the generous donations made by the owners of visiting vessels,” said Frans.

“Zoe’s Place is a truly fantastic charity that continues to provide exceptional care and support to families with children living with life limiting illnesses and to know that this will secure another week of care is incredibly humbling.”

To find out more about Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, please visit www.zoes-place.org.uk/middlesbrough