GENEROUS Tees businesses have raised a brilliant £5,640 in support of the North East Autism Society after the inaugural Tees Business Awards event last week.

NEAS was the chosen charity for the 2023 Tees Business Awards event, attended by more than 380 people at Hardwick Hall.

The event – organised by Tees Business in association with PD Ports – was chosen mainly due to the involvement of our patrons, who all played a key role on the night.

Globally renowned Tees artist Mackenzie Thorpe was the keynote speaker, who drew a standing ovation from guests after a show-stopping speech.

North-East TV royalty Pam Royle and journalist Peter Barron, both also patrons of NEAS, were brilliant co-hosts for the event, while their fellow patron, Tees Business non-executive director Bob Cuffe, delivered an emotional speech.

More than £2,000 was donated online on the night – including £1,000 from Moonrise 24 Hour Recruitment – and £2,630 was donated by generous guests in envelopes as part of a prize draw.

Stockton firm Additional Lengths also sent in a £1,000 donation, bringing the total raised to £5,640. 

Our chief executive officer John Phillipson said:

We can’t thank Tees businesses enough for their amazing generosity and for getting so wholeheartedly behind the work we do. And thanks to our patrons, too, who are such fantastic ambassadors for us.

Tees Business director Dave Allan added: “We know how generous Tees businesses are, but we’re absolutely delighted with the total amount raised from the Tees Business Awards.

“People in the room on the night were clearly touched and inspired by the brilliant words of both Bob and Mackenzie.

We’re proud to have played a part in raising valuable funds for NEAS, but equally as pleased to have raised so much awareness for such a fantastic charity.

Dave and his fellow Tees Business director Martin Walker visited NEAS at its Kiora Hall site in Norton, Stockton, after the awards event.

Looking back on a memorable night, Mackenzie Thorpe said: “It was absolutely amazing. I was just so proud of what everyone is achieving.

“I met people from all different kinds of businesses that I didn't even know existed here, and that made me feel really proud about what's being done and the future.

“I won't name the people, but I wish I could grab people and bring them up here and show them what's happening now and these businesses, who really want to be part of the community and bring the community on, look after their staff and lead fairly, and that was the really strong message from the night.

“I was really proud that I was asked to be there.”

Click here to find out more about the Tees Business Awards