Teesside International Airport has revealed that it is partnering up with three local charities to support their fundraising, with the first initiative helping holidaymakers give back while getting rid of their unwanted foreign currency.
When the expanded schedule of holiday services to Alicante, Majorca and Bulgaria kicks off in the summer and the airport is once again fully operational, passengers will be able to donate any spare foreign currency to great local causes – Alice House Hospice, the Great North Air Ambulance Service and the MFC Foundation.
Secure donation boxes will be located in both the departures and arrivals hall in the newly refurbished airport terminal, so people can quickly and easily drop off their cash, with all proceeds split evenly between the three charities.
This drive is kicking off a long-term partnership, which will also see staff develop their own in-house fundraising ideas as well as offering support by volunteering.
The airport is currently working with the charities to facilitate a year-long calendar of events which will include corporate engagements, terminal fundraising and other cross-partnership opportunities.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “When I’ve come home from holidays abroad in the past with a bit of foreign currency, I’ve usually immediately forgotten about it, then found it again a year later in the bottom of my suitcase!
“The first, most immediate, phase of this partnership will let people drop their unwanted change off in our terminal so they know it’s going to one of our brilliant local charities, helping people who need it most, rather than doing nothing at the bottom of a drawer.
“Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg in the way Teesside International will be supporting these fantastic causes, with plenty of further activity to come in the following months.
“When I brought our airport back into public ownership, I pledged to use it to benefit everyone across the region, not just secure flights to Alicante, as popular as they are.
“I’m delighted we’re teaming up with Alice House, the Great North Air Ambulance Service and MFC Foundation to help improve – and even save – lives.”
Alice House Hospice is the only adult hospice in Hartlepool, and works to ensure people affected by a life limiting illness or the death of a loved one have the care, comfort and support they need.
Chief executive Tracy Woodall said: “I am so pleased that Alice House has been nominated for this wonderful opportunity, which will provide a great boost to our fundraising and allow us to reach a new and varied audience.
“We are really looking forward to developing this partnership and working together for the good of our community.
“This kind of support makes a huge to the lives of local Hospice patients and their families.”
The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) provides air ambulance services and rapid response cars across the region to help save lives, and works with the NHS and other emergency services in response to major incidents.
GNAAS corporate fundraising officer Leya Baksh said: “We are delighted that Teesside International Airport have selected GNAAS as one of their chosen charities.
“We are completely reliant on public donations and as expected we saw a downturn in fundraising in the last year due to the coronavirus outbreak, so we are hugely grateful for the airport’s support.
“The money raised will help us continue to deliver world-class pre-hospital care to the people of our region.”
MFC Foundation works in association with Middlesbrough Football Club across some of the most disadvantaged areas of Teesside to raise aspirations and improve the life changes of young people and adults by delivering sport, education, health and inclusion projects.
Head of the foundation Helena Bowman added: “MFC Foundation are delighted to have been chosen as one of Teesside Airport’s charity partners.
“The foundation works across Teesside using the brand of the football club to inspire confidence and hope in our communities.
“There is no doubt that having the support of Teesside Airport will help us reach even more people to provide support.
“We are looking forward to working closely with Teesside Airport, Alice House and the Great North Air Ambulance to raise awareness and generate extra funds for such great causes.”