May 21 - Big-hearted employees from the Middlesbrough, UK-based PD Ports will be lacing up their running shoes and taking part in the 21 km Great North Run for Butterwick Hospice this year.

Sixty-six employees from across the business have signed up for the run, which takes place on Sunday, September 16.

The runners aim to raise around GBP20,000 (USD31,630) for the local hospice. Mandy Shields, fundraiser at the hospice said: "This is the biggest team we have ever had. PD Ports said that they would like to enter a team into theGreat North Run but we never expected such a fantastic response."

The 66 team members from PD Ports, which includes employees from as far as Felixstowe, are already in training, with some employees organising running sessions in their lunch hour.

Jerry Hopkinson, PD Ports' managing director bulks, ports and logistics, said: "We are delighted to see so many of our employees taking part in the Great North Run. I knew we had a number of keen runners across the business but not of this scale. This is all about the passion and commitment we have in supporting Butterwick Hospice with the benefit of getting fit and having fun in the process.

"At PD Ports we take our social responsibility very seriously within the communities in which we operate and as one of the region's leading businesses and largest employers, we are proud to support the excellent service Butterwick Hospice offers to its patients and their families," concluded Hopkinson.

The hospice has a limited number of places available for the Great North Run. If you would like further information or would like to sign up, please contact Mandy Shields at the fundraising office on 01642 628930. You can also visit and complete an application form online.