The Port Workers Teesdock Branch of the Unite union has proudly donated funds to five charities across the Tees Valley to enable them to continue to provide vital care and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

£1000 donations have been made to five charities across the Tees Valley; Teesside Hospice, Zoe’s Place, Marie Curie, Air Ambulance and the domestic abuse charity Harbour Support Services.

Members of the union pay a fee each month in order to keep the branch operating and cover expenses but in light of the situation, the group made a collective decision to donate banked funds to local charities.

Mark Hannon, Chair of the Port Workers Tees Dock Branch and Port Council Chair said: “We believe as trade unionists we have always supported our fellow workers, however, now at this critical time, we believe we all must look beyond our boundaries and into our communities by supporting these essential local charities.

“Access to funding has been particularly difficult with people unable to actively go out and fundraise and so our branch got our heads together and agreed to donate £1000 to five local causes.”

With a surge in domestic violence cases since lockdown began on 23rd March, the work of domestic charity Harbour has become particularly poignant.

Mark added: “The amount of people that, especially during these already challenging times, are suffering from domestic abuse is appalling. The job that the Harbour Support Services do for families affected by abuse is absolutely fantastic and we knew we wanted to offer our support.”

Lesley Gibson, Harbour Support Services Chief Executive, said: “Harbour’s vision has always been to work towards a society free from violence and abuse; over 40 years later, we are still committed to that vision.

“Because of caring donations such as this one we can improve the lives of people we support by providing them with advice, support and safe, quality accommodation. These donations mean the world to us.”

The Port Workers Teesdock Branch now hope that other branches across the country will be encouraged to follow their lead and seek to support charitable causes within their own communities.