A County Durham Dad, whose young son underwent lifesaving heart surgery just weeks after being born, sent work colleagues bauble crazy by roping them in to create festive decorations for charity.
Alec Berry, who is senior manager at Sunderland based Saggezza Inc, volunteered his and his work colleagues’ time to enhance more than 600 heart-shaped decorations for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF).
Saggezza Inc, a tech-based analytics company, not only had all their staff decorating the special heart-shaped CHUF baubles in shifts, but when their office neighbours in Sunderland Software City heard about the schemes, they wanted to volunteer their time too.
Alec, aged 31, said his world was turned upside down when he and wife Debbie were told that their son Joseph, who was born in February, had a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallots.
Joseph had to undergo two lifesaving operations at the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, one of only two specialist centres in the UK who carry out complex heart surgery on babies and children.
Alec, who lives in Crook, explained: “He’s our first child and we spent an entire month on the unit while he was recovering from the operations. I can’t ever repay the care and dedication of those who saved Joseph’s life. He’s doing so much better now, and I really wanted to give something back to the unit that has played such a fundamental role in Joseph’s first year.”
“When I heard CHUF was looking for volunteers to help with creating their own baubles, I knew the team at Saggezza would be up for the challenge. It was great to have others at Software City also join in.”
The baubles from CHUF are on sale now, priced £1.50 each or 4 for £5. If you are interested in ordering baubles you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0044 (0)191 281 3166.
Amy Watson, from Sunderland Software City explained: “We have a brilliant, collaborative environment here at Sunderland Software City, so when we heard of Alec and Saggezza’s plans, we knew others would want to get involved.”
“We had quite the production line set up and everyone was happy to do their bit for such a great charity that means so much to Alec personally. On behalf of everyone at Software City, it has been our pleasure to help.”
Head of fundraising at CHUF, Chris Gray, said: “We were blown away with the support from Alec, his colleagues at Saggezza and everyone else at Sunderland Software city who volunteered their precious time to help us.”
“We’d thought it might be nice to create a few CHUF baubles to raise a few pounds. We were flabbergasted when they said they’d decorated 600! The time everyone has given us to volunteer is so precious and could now raise a really incredible sum for CHUF. We really cannot thank them enough.”
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