“As a Teesside business owner and a proud Boro lad, I think we all have an obligation to stick together.”

If you, as a business owner, had the chance to create a positive impact on someone in your community, would you do it? We’d hope that the answer is yes. Giving back is not only good for the soul, but a great example to set for other business owners in your community too.

One fantastic example of just this is the recent work that the Teesside Family Foundation have been doing with a selection of local businesses. Their ‘random acts of kindness’ project is inspiring some well-known names in business to donate a small amount that could make a big difference to a local individual or family.

The charity launched this project back in June throughout lockdown and started asking local business owners if they could spare a small amount of money to help people less fortunate than themselves. This could be to fund anything from a meal out, a weekly food shop, a bouquet of flowers or cinema tickets.

Some of the local companies who were keen to jump straight on board include JMAC Group, Bespoke Financial and Lusso Stone.

We chatted with the leaders behind these businesses to find out how they feel about the project and why helping the community is so important to them.

Lee Flanagan, Bespoke Financial

“I think the work The Teesside Family Foundation are doing is amazing, as are the people behind it. This project is a real reflection of the type of human beings they are and the foundation they represent. I think it’s great to see TTFF being run by real Teessiders who have that real Teessider spirit.

It makes me especially proud to help with their work because of my upbringing. I’m from a council estate, and as anyone else from that kind of background will tell you, having that sort of upbringing teaches you about community spirit, togetherness and the importance of helping each other out in times of need. This exact philosophy is why TTFF exists, so I’ll always do all I can to help them.

As a Teesside business owner and a proud Boro lad, I think we all have an obligation to stick together. We can always do more. If you think back to the way communities supported each other back in the 80s, there was a real spirit of belonging. I think somewhere along the line this has been lost, and now more than ever it’s important that we try to get that back.”

Luis Mccarthy, JMAC Group

“The Teesside Family Foundation is exactly what it says on the tin, this local charity gives back to local families and it is evident the donations and support from local businesses goes to a great cause, one that you can feel and see.

The ‘random acts of kindness’ project helps some of the most vulnerable people in the area in their time of need, and the charity ensures that the supporting persons can see and feel the good they do through supporting the charity.

JMAC is a family-run business whose leadership team have experience of the ups and downs and hardship that life can sometimes throw at us from time to time. By giving back to people in their time of need it not only humbles us to remind us of how lucky we are but it also gives people the help and support they need at the time they need it, which works in line with our social policies and that of supporting the local community.”

Wayne Spriggs, Lusso Stone

“I think the work The Teesside Family Foundation are doing with their ‘random acts of kindness’ project is fantastic. It’s bringing local businesses together to help create good memories for unfortunate individuals and families in Teesside. The Lusso Stone team and myself have worked with this charity for a number of years now. In 2018 we took three local children on a trolley dash around Toys R Us for Christmas. Earlier this year myself and the team at Lusso virtually cycled from Teesside to New York. The idea of this was to try and raise enough money to send someone who has recently gone through a hard time to Disneyland Paris. We had a lot of donations and raised around £5500. Due to the current covid restrictions we have had to put this trip on hold, but hope to get this booked for the local girl we chose for early 2021. When I saw the latest ‘random acts of kindness’ project, I thought this is excellent, especially in the current climate. So, myself and the team will give a random act of kindness treat out every month. I would urge any local company to get involved with this project. Giving back to the community is a great feeling. It keeps you humble and it’s quite satisfying knowing that you are helping people in need. I like the close relationship you get when working with the team at The Teesside Family Foundation, getting involved and seeing first-hand the difference it makes really does inspire you to do more.”

If these examples of giving back have inspired you to help in our community too, it would be amazing to have more businesses on board. As each of the business owners above have touched on, giving back and helping others is a positive way to counter a lot of the negativity we face in the current climate.

You can find The Teesside Family foundation online at https://www.theteessidefamily.com/

You can also contact our Business Editor, Sophia Gowland, for more information on how to get your business involved by email to: Sophia@thepetiteagency.co.uk