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Gateshead employees hit the ground running at Great North Run to raise money for Middlesbrough baby hospice

(L-R) In action-Claire Armstrong (Sales Advisor), Anthony Falcon, Danny Wade (Buyers), Ian Marriott (Technical Coordinator) & Emily Watson (Sales Manager)

A group of dedicated employees from Barratt Developments North East came together to tackle the Great North Run half marathon to continue its support for Zoё’s Place Baby Hospice, a charity the housebuilder has supported since 2019.

As part of Barratt Development North East’s ongoing support of the charity, the run forms a number of challenges that employees will be taking part in to raise £10,000 for the hospice, which is its charity of the year. The Barratt Developments Group will also match the total amount raised for the year in its mission to support the communities in which it builds.

Zoё’s Place, like many charities, was sadly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Once open twenty-four hours, seven days a week, Zoë’s Place is now having to operate a waiting list and opening at a reduced four day week.

Zoё’s Place provides vital services including palliative, respite and end-of-life care to babies and infants aged from birth to five years, who are suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. As well as caring for its patients in a safe ‘home from home’ environment, the baby hospice also provides bereavement support for families. In order to provide its services to all families, Zoë’s Place is required to raise £1.1m every year, but as it receives very minimal funding, Zoё’s Place heavily relies on voluntary donations and fundraising activities.

Michelle Larkin, Registered Manager at Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to the team at Barratt Developments North East for their dedication to our cause. Our hospice is so important for the babies and families we support, and the services we provide are only possible through the generosity and kindness of volunteers.”

“It costs £3,000 per day to keep our doors open and with the pandemic stopping a lot of our fundraising efforts, it has meant we’ve had to reduce the care we can offer. Myself and my colleagues at the hospice extend our heartfelt thanks for the time and effort the team at Barratt Developments North East has put into supporting us during this challenging time.”

Emily Watson, Sales Manager at Barratt Developments North East and Great North Run participant, commented: “The Great North Run was a great opportunity for us to fundraise for Zoë’s Place. The event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic so we were eager to get our running shoes on and see the donations come in. It was also a fantastic chance to bring the team together after a year of working remotely. We’re excited to see how much we can raise at the end of the year and hope to see our friends at Zoë’s Place continue the vital work they do for families across the North East.”