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PD Ports, operator of Teesport and Statutory Harbour Authority of the River Tees, is proudly supporting an initiative inspired by Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, to provide iPad Minis to seriously ill COVID-19 patients so they can remain close to their loved ones whilst in hospital.

Within the Tees Valley, PD Ports has contributed 15 iPad Minis, distributed between James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and North Tees Hospital in Stockton, and the port operator is encouraging other businesses to get involved.

In addition, for a minimum of the next two months, funds allocated to the port operator’s employee giving program will be diverted to local NHS trusts and food banks to help those in most need.

Kirsten Donkin, Head of PR, Marketing and Communications at PD Ports, said: “We first heard about this initiative through the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation when we contacted them to offer our support and collaboration in helping those in most need during this difficult time. 

We are delighted to be able to support our local community through contributing technology that will help those ill with coronavirus stay connected to their families and friends. In addition, we received overwhelming support from our employees to have all proceeds from our ongoing employee giving program to be contributed in support of the NHS and other priority local initiatives.”

The iPad Minis are supplied by Stockton-based firm iStation, who pre-load each device with the necessary programmes to allow for instant communication between patients and their families.

Chief Nurse and Director of Patient Safety and Quality, Julie Lane, said: “There is a lot that we still don’t know about COVID-19, but we do know that it is a highly infectious disease. Sadly, this means that when patients end up in our hospitals with Coronavirus, their loved ones are unable to visit. Contact from family and friends is absolutely essential to the healing process and these iPads truly are a lifeline for those who find themselves on our wards. I would like to personally thank PD Ports for not only thinking about the NHS, but for making a donation that will make a difference to the communities of North Tees and Hartlepool.”

Other Tees Valley businesses can support the Philanthropic Foundation’s most recent campaign by contributing funds that will be used to provide £25 e-vouchers for schools to pass on to families who are struggling to buy food and essentials as a result of COVID-19.

Lee Bramley, Chair of Trustees for the Philanthropic Foundation, said: “The COVID-19 crisis is bringing out the very best in Teesside people and businesses – and this generous donation by PD Ports for those suffering from coronavirus in our local hospitals is another great example.

“We’ve had an incredible response from local businesses and individuals with several others readily supporting this and other coronavirus-related appeals. It’s further proof that the Teesside business community is very special and uniquely supportive of its local communities.”

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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