£20,000 has been shared between 15 amazing Teesside charities – with Blue Light Babies announced as the £5,000 big winners in an X-Factor-style countdown in an event hosted by our patrons, Middlesbrough Football Club.
Tees-based Blue Light Babies is a team of knitters, crocheters and sewers who come together to make and donate items for all sorts of worthy causes – including baby ambulance packs.
Initially set up by Jo Owen to provide North East ambulances packs containing baby hats and blankets for babies born before they get to hospital, the group has expanded its work to such areas as providing twiddle muffs for dementia patients, trauma teds for North East police forces and clothes for babies in local neonatal units.
In a public poll on our website, Blue Light Babies and another amazing local charity, Remembering Rebecca, shared 50% of all the votes cast.
Both received more than 800 votes with Blue Light Babies winning out by just 14 to take the top prize – presented at the Riverside Stadium by Ken Devereux of our patrons, Devereux Transport.
Remembering Rebecca received £2,500 towards their “sibling of the month” awards, celebrating amazing young people who help to look after a sibling who is ill, disabled or has a life threatening condition. Emma Simkins of our patrons Henderson Insurance Brokers presented their cheque.
Personal patron Bill Scott presented a cheque for £2,000 to third-placed Teesside Samaritans towards a bus publicity campaign to recruit much-needed volunteers to help deal with more than 16,500 calls per month and many other activities to support local people.
Other presentations included:
- Sue Theobald of Barclays presented £1,500 to South Tees NHS Therapeutic Care for T-shirts for volunteers who help provide therapeutic care and interaction to patients in James Cook University Hospital.
- Yvonne Ferguson of Middlesbrough FC presented £1,500 to My Sister’s Place towards the running of a six-week course for women who have suffered or are suffering from domestic abuse, helping them understand their rights and how to make positive changes in their lives.
- Personal patron Jayne Stephenson presented £1,000 to Age UK Teesside towards providing free ‘Winter Warmer’ packs to those in need in the Redcar and Cleveland area – including a fleece blanket, flask and hot water bottle.
- Nigel Willis of Redcar firm First Choice Labels presented £1,000 to Friends of Redcar towards the purchase of litter picking cabinets for Redcar sea front that will allow litter pickers and community walkers to carry out their own litter picks.
- Ged Flanagan of Endeavour Partnership presented £1,000 to Jessica’s Smile, helping to give children newly diagnosed with cancer or leukaemia an opportunity for a fun break to a theme park, zoo, theatre trip, or a gifts such as computer games, ride-along cars, books and toys
- Dave Nicholson of The Nicholson Group presented £750 to Liverton Village Hall towards the upkeep and renovation of the very active and award-winning village hall in East Cleveland.
- Personal patron Ian Stark presented £750 to Labyrinth Café in Stockton, supporting a domestic abuse support and signposting project including food contributions.
- Ruth Conner of Active Chartered Financial Planners presented £750 to The Trinity Holistic Centre towards expanding their service across Teesside to all families affected by cancer and long term conditions with the opportunity to access emotional, practical and wellbeing support to help with their diagnosis and treatment.
- Dave Nicholson of The Nicholson Group presented £750 for the Music in the Garden Project by the Billingham Environmental Link Programme for the development of a youth outreach project within the Clarences giving young people up to the age of 17 the opportunity to learn to play the guitar, drums, keyboard or learn to sing.
- Ian Stark presented £500 to Cleveland Women’s Network, supporting a partnership of leading voluntary and community organisations who help women and girls who are survivors of domestic or sexual abuse.
- Ruth Conner of Active Chartered Financial Planners presented £500 to 1 Hart 1 Mind 1 Future towards after-school and holiday programmes for families and carers of children and young adults with additional needs and disabilities.
- Bill Scott presented £500 to Hartlepool Carers, a group who work with carers who provide support to people with learning and physical disabilities, mental health, drug and alcohol misuse. It will go towards activities and outings for young carers.