Social media marketing experts Viral Effect have kicked off a bid to donate £15,000 to charity over the next 12 months after joining a group of more than 40 Teesside companies and individuals to support Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
To celebrate becoming the Foundation’s newest patrons, Viral Effect staff paid a visit to Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team, who received a £2,000 donation from the Foundation as part of the charitable movement’s Golden Giveaway scheme.
Viral Effect went along to see and hear how the equipment the rescue team had purchased with the cash was being put to good use.
After visiting the team’s Great Ayton headquarters, Viral Effect managing director Jamie Pennington said: “This is exactly the sort of great cause that inspired us to the support the work of Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
“What the mountain rescue team do is increasingly vital. There’s been a massive increase in need and demand for their services and it’s fantastic to know their team of volunteers include such highly skilled people if ever you need their help.”
Now, having already made an initial £5,000 donation towards the work of the Philanthropic Foundation, Viral Effect plan to raise a further £10,000 to support the charity’s efforts for local worthy causes.
They’ve kicked off their fundraising efforts with a “swear jar” for their office in Middlesbrough’s Boho Four, while staff also plan to take part in the Great North Run, a sponsored car wash, runs, walks and even fancy dress parties.
Pennington said: “Mike Racz, my fellow director, and I are both big believers in all things Teesside and we both think the Foundation is an amazing charity with all the cash staying right here in our area.
“We’ve supported the charity in different ways for a few years but now that our company is enjoying some real success we felt it was the right thing to do to become patrons.”
Viral Effect join a growing band of more than 40 corporate and individual patrons of the Foundation including Middlesbrough FC, CPD Bodies, Cleveland Cable Company, AV Dawson, Carter Steel, Hunters Estate Agents, Endeavour Partnership, Henderson Insurance Brokers and Bulkhaul.
The £2,000 donated by the Philanthropic Foundation has helped to replace some of the team’s vital casualty care equipment and bags they use to carry the medical equipment to casualties.
Michael Gallagher, one of Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team’s 40 local volunteers, said the donation had allowed the purchase of equipment that would support the team’s work across the North York Moors and along the Cleveland and North Yorkshire coast line.
Their call-outs range from people missing on the fells and in and around the local towns and villages, to people injured whilst walking, biking, climbing or horse riding, while they also assist other emergency services with tricky evacuations and incidents.
Gallagher said: “Our medical bags need to be robust and waterproof to protect the vital medical equipment which we often have to use in challenging weather conditions.
“Some of the bags were more than 10 years old and after many years of use they were in need of replacing.
“Our vacuum mattress, which provides full body and spinal immobilisation, and our warm waterproof casualty bags were also worn, so this was a welcome donation that allowed us to update some truly vital equipment.”
• Pictured (above): Base manager Mike Gallagher with Viral Effect’s Daniel Dixon (left), Jamie Pennington and Sian Burton and the new equipment Teesside Philanthropic Foundation purchased for Cleveland Mountain Rescue.