Meet Our Patrons – Keith Miller, Ecco Finishing Supplies

July 13th, 2016

What does your organisation do? We specialise in the design and manufacture of surface preparation and coating equipment for the oil and gas, offshore renewables, automotive, construction and manufacturing industries.

Why do you support the Foundation? Because the money that’s generated stays local – and that’s important to me. I believe in looking after our own.

Which of our events has been your favourite? I loved the first ever CEO Sleepout which was launched by the Philanthropic Foundation. It was a cold, wet, miserable experience – but it was something I chose to do, not something I had to do. It’s only when you do something like that that you realise how lucky you are to go home to a comfy bed, something we all take for granted. But for some less fortunate souls it’s reality on a daily basis. It’s what made it an easy decision to co-organise the second Teesside CEO Sleepout.

At the same time, the Foundation’s Golden Giveaway is absolutely brilliant. It makes a huge difference. After making a cheque presentation at the last Giveaway event, I drove home thinking about all these amazing things we have going on right on our doorstep and we don’t realise. That last event was full of genuine people who are making a difference for no financial gain – but their positive attitudes are rubbing off on young people.

Which organisation are you most proud that we’ve supported? I have to say that’s the Homeless Football Club, which has now grown to be Middlesbrough and Teesside Sports Academy. At Ecco Finishing, we’re based opposite a halfway house for people with all sorts of problems. I’m a firm believer that any of us can be just three or four months away from being homeless if we’re ever unemployed. What could be better than sport to help get people back on their feet? It’s so inclusive – and helps those involved feel fitter, feel better and improves their self-respect. Incredibly, one of the members has been selected for the 2016 Olympics. That’s incredible!

Tell us something your fellow Foundation supporters might not know about you personally? I ride up to 100 miles a week for fitness and enjoyment, something I got into through charity. I’ve also just bought a shot gun so I’m going to start clay pigeon shooting. I’m rubbish at golf so I thought I’d try something new!

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