Author: Alice Midgley

Tees Valley businesses working together to overcome adversity

 

As a region, it’s fair to say that in the past the Tees Valley hasn’t had the easiest of times. Although we have proven over the years that we are in fact a robust, strong region that will always strive to get ‘back on our feet,’ this isn’t helped by national media, members of government and shameful ‘reality tv’ shows that paint us as deprived, unemployed and the founders of ‘benefits Britain.’

With recent setbacks from SSI, Tata Steel and Adelie still fresh in our mind, levels of unemployment, deprivation and poverty have increased, the effect of which on our community is far from positive.

At Publicity Seekers we are lucky enough to work with a group of clients, extremely passionate about their surroundings and with enormous pride in the Tees Valley. However one thing we hear time and again is about the effect of our region’s negative outlook has on the aspirations of our children and our community.

To counteract this, we’re bringing together four of our business leaders for a panel debate looking at ‘Building a Thriving North East’ and the issues that need addressing within our community to be able to do that.

We already have 20 business leaders attending but have room for 5 more. If you would like to attend on Wednesday August 2 from 8:30am – 10am please get in touch with mlamb@publicityseekers.co.uk.

The panel consists of the following:

Alby Pattison

MD of Hart Biologicals

Most recently awarded Freedom of the Borough by Hartlepool Borough Council, Alby Pattison sits at the head of Hart Biologicals, a specialist medical company that creates life-saving medical equipment and exports to 39 companies worldwide.

Part of Alby’s success comes from his endless contributions to the community. A key supporter of the apprenticeship scheme, Alby employs from within the town and takes in several new students each year. He is a supporter of many local charities, a governor at Manor School and STEM ambassador regularly visiting colleges and universities to speak about the importance of science and value of it as a career.

Kevin Byrne

MD of Seymour Civil Engineering

Hartlepool’s Business Leader of the Year 2017, Kevin Byrne sits at the helm of Seymour Civil Engineering, a record-breaking £35m-turnover business which carries out urban renewal projects, restoration and development work and drainage works across the North East and Yorkshire. The company has saved hundreds of North East homes through its vital flood alleviation work, most notably its award-winning work on the sea defences between Hartlepool and Seaton.

Kevin is a keen supporter of apprenticeships and takes on several each year from Hartlepool College of Further Education. He is committed to bringing young people into the business to grow and develop and most recently sent two of his younger staff to complete university degrees at Northumbria University funded by the company.

Andy Steel

Assistant Principal of Hartlepool College of Further Education

The North’s number one apprenticeship provider, Hartlepool College of Further Education, is renowned with businesses and students alike for its high quality apprenticeships, people development and connections to some of the greatest businesses in the North East.

Andy Steel leads the College’s business development and recruitment strategy, focusing on apprenticeships, adult skills and commercial partnerships. Outside of the college Andy is the Chair of AdAstra Trust and the Hartlepool Business Forum, organising the Hartlepool Business Awards each year for the town.

Jayne Moules

Strategic Development Manager at Changing Futures NE

Changing Futures North East has been supporting local children and families since 1997 through mediation services, mentorships, community support and independent visitors. Over the last year alone, the charity has helped over 420 children and 237 parents in the Tees Valley and since 2013 its mentoring project has helped around 100 children and young people develop their social and emotional well-being skills.

Jayne Moules has worked to co-ordinate a number of significant family support programmes across the North East including delivery of the Troubled Family

Programme and also in aiding the roll-out of Sure-Start Centres. At Changing Futures, Jayne is working to engage key stakeholders in creating a family relationship-focussed hub within Hartlepool.

The event runs as follows:

Wednesday 2nd August at Hartlepool College of Further Education

8:30am – Coffee

9:00am – Talk and panel

10:00am – Event close

Charity helps hospital open haven for chemo families

A MUSIC charity has helped to open up a family room at the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s chemotherapy ward in memory of a devoted father who lost his battle with cancer last year.

Andy Brown, who was an avid supporter of Music v Cancer and who supported the numerous music events the charity organises, was cared for at University Hospital of Hartlepool.

The 51-year-old technology consultant from Hartlepool, left behind daughter Kate and partner Natalie when he passed away in July last year after a battle with bowel cancer.

But his memory will live on thanks to MvC founder and good friend Tony Larkin who has named the room in his memory.

Pam Hauxwell, former nurse on the chemotherapy ward, who helped treat Andy when he was ill, said: “He was a lovely man. I hope this room can help more people in Andy’s honour.”

Tony Larkin, founder of the charity and who was also diagnosed with bowel cancer, started the organisation after he was given the all clear in 2010.

Tony said: “We thought the best way to recognise Andy’s efforts and what he’s done for the charity was to come up with a project that could be done in his memory.

“The family room project came about when Rosie Livingston from Hartlepool Hospital got in touch, outlining that the current facilities they have for patients to sit and relax with their family was very cramped and small.

“The refurbishment took three months to complete and cost just over £8,000, all of which came directly from the Music v Cancer gig in October 2016, which was held in memory of Andy.”

Rosie Livingston, Deputy Unit Matron on the Chemotherapy Ward at the hospital said: “It’s such a brilliant project. Mainly because everything in the room itself was donated from families affected by cancer as well as from large companies such as Tesco.

“Things like this are important because more and more young people and their parents are coming into the ward and my hope is that this room can offer them the space for respite and privacy that they need.”

Steve Hall, Non-Executive Director of the Trust Board for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation, said: “What a great facility to have to celebrate the memory of Andy.

“Everyone that uses this room will be able to remember him as well, they’ll know him from the picture on the wall, and for that we thank Tony.

“Also, thanks to Rosie and her team on the chemotherapy ward in particular, we have a fantastic set of caring, passionate professionals and now we also have a great place that patients can use to make their experience here at the hospital even better.”

Michelle Holmes, Chemotherapy Unit Matron said: “The new family room is fantastic as it provides patients on the ward with a place they can go for a bit of time out.

“Treatment rooms can get very hectic and crowded and on tough days when patients need somewhere to escape to, even if it’s just for a few minutes, the room will provide a quiet place for them to sit, have a cup of tea, and relax.

“These small things make such a difference during a patient’s treatment.”

Margaret Brown, mother of Andy said: “Andy used to always say how amazing the staff were here on the ward. He had nothing but praise for Rosie and her team and would come home from the hospital uplifted.

“Seeing this room all finished is brilliant and as Andy had all of his treatment here at Hartlepool, it will be somewhere that his family can come to remember him, and as a place patients can relax with their families.

“A big thank you needs to go to Tony as well, as without him this project would never have been able to happen.”

Music v Cancer is a not-for-profit charity and has held 23 live music events to date and has raised £203,000, which goes towards cancer detection equipment for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trusts.

Music v Cancer celebrates fundraising success after music weekender

SOME of the UK’s most exciting new live artists came together to showcase at the renowned Music v Cancer Weekender.

Exciting young four-piece Skinny Living headlined the Friday night at The Grand Hotel, while British/Trinidadian singer-songwriter Z-STAR rocked the top slot on Saturday night.

The twice annual Weekenders have become renowned on the music circuit with previous acts such as Jack Savoretti, The Magic Numbers, The Blow Monkeys and Turin Brakes lining up to play this intimate and magical gig.

And in the process of wowing Teesside audiences they have raised over £8,000 to buy cancer detection equipment for local hospitals.

Ryan Johnston, Skinny Living’s lead singer, said: “We have spent a lot of time in the studio recording lately so had not played live for a few months and I was quite nervous going on to be honest. But I could not have enjoyed myself any more than I did on that stage. For an intimate gig the crowd blows you away, they listen so intently and then the next minute they’re up dancing with you! An audience like that is quite hard to come by.”

The weekend played host to an array of musical talent including performances from Paul Liddell, Joe Dunwell and wild LA keys man Leo Napier. Both nights showcased a range of set styles.

Guitarist Robbie Cavanagh, supported by backing vocals from Lizzie Brandon and Rick Brewin, kick started the Friday night with an intimate acoustic set.

Robbie said: “From the moment we were contacted about attending the event we were treated so nicely, and on arriving everyone has been so friendly and so warm hearted. Performing on stage was amazing and we had a really lovely audience, we were given a lot of attention and it really felt like people wanted to listen.”

Alongside the musical line-up, the charity held a music memorabilia auction, offering items including an electric guitar signed by the band Kasabian and an acoustic guitar signed by David Gray, to the highest bidder.

Music v Cancer was founded in 2010 by Tony Larkin, after he received the all-clear from Bowel Cancer. The not-for-profit charity has held 25 live music events to date and, including the funds raised at the last event, have risen over £210,000.

Tony said: “These events are always hard work to organise because we always want to get them exactly right. But it is worth it when we have such amazing feedback from artists and people in the music businesses are talking about what a fantastic night they have up here.

“I can only say thanks once again to everyone from the sponsors and audience to the volunteers and artists. Music v Cancer has a brilliant reputation for a great night!”