Building teams is an important part of corporate life for PD Ports but finding somewhere that can accommodate large teams for a day is no easy task.

Jon Armstrong, head of operational finance, explains, “The first time we volunteered there was 30 of us, but because of the size of the Daisy Chain farm there was plenty for us to do and everyone finished the day feeling they had made a valuable contribution. Staff actually requested if they could do it again, they enjoyed it so much and our involvement has grown from there.”

For Jon and his team, it is like magic that Daisy Chain can find a wide variety of tasks for to occupy the team for an entire day, “There’s something that everyone can turn their hand to, even 30 very academic but manually unskilled people,” he laughs. “Also, the briefing about the charity and the work it does, the families it supports, really brings it home to the team what they are offering their support to and how much it really matters that they do a good job on the day.”

Procurement assistant Hayley Miles adds, “Daisy Chain is such a huge operation to keep running smoothly and relies on donations not just of money but of time, so it’s very satisfying to be able to put in some hours to help out with the work that needs doing. While you are there you can see the impact Daisy Chain has, you see the children directly benefiting from the environment.

PD Ports staff volunteering at Daisy Chain“For us, supporting a local charity is important and for me personally, being a mum myself, it’s good to know I am helping other families enjoy family time in a safe environment, something I take for granted. It’s about being able to give something back and know that other people are benefiting from the work you are doing. My cousin has an autistic child so I mentioned Daisy Chain and they are now benefiting from the support offered.”

Dannielle Young, who works in the PR and Marketing department says a number of teams have also volunteered in the Daisy Chain Superstore at Portrack in Stockton. “We try to get as many people from different departments to take part. It’s good to get teams mixing out of the office and when you are doing work that no-one has done before - it is a great leveller.”

Jon adds, “The Winter Ball is excellent, a really good opportunity to get away from the office without it being too corporate.”

PD Ports has 1200 employees across the country with 700 based on Teesside and 50 in head office in Queen’s Square, Middlesbrough.

Says Dannielle, “Before we started our relationship with Daisy Chain, we supported a number of charities through corporate donations but we wanted to work with charities that would allow employees to be actively involved. We feel it is important to allow employees the opportunity to engage with our chosen charities to ensure they are part of our community-based activities. When there has been a shout out from Daisy Chain for some corporate support, we have had people volunteer their time even when they still need to get the day job done which demonstrates how involved they feel.

“We’ve also taken part in the Boat Race, attended fundraising events and completed six volunteer days in the last couple of years with three more volunteer days planned this year. It’s great to see Daisy Chain celebrating 15 years this year and we look forward to our continued involvement in its development.”

10th May 2018