Barry Atkins, PASS

What does your organisation do?
We’re a test equipment distributor, based in Stockton but with a network of 40,000 customers across the UK. We supply, service and repair test equipment, while we also have an accredited calibration laboratory. We also provide high quality training.

Why do you support the Foundation?
Because it’s a charity that supports local causes – all the money raised stays on Teesside. As someone who is Middlesbrough born and bred, that’s important to me.

Which of our fundraising events has been your favourite?
For me it has to the CEO Sleepout at Preston Park Museum earlier this year (run by the Foundation’s sister charity, CEO Sleepout). Something like that, sleeping rough for the night, brings you back down to earth with a bump. It gave me an insight into how some homeless people must feel, having to do that night after night. I didn’t get much sleep either because my brother, Dave, snored like a chimney! I ended up moving and finally slept outside the museum’s funeral parlour!

Which organisation are you most proud that we’ve supported?
Any of the organisations that we’ve helped that are fighting local homelessness.

Tell us something your fellow Foundation supporters might not know about you personally?
Two things – first of all I started my business 15 years ago by borrowing £700 off my mam and dad to buy my first piece of test equipment. Secondly, when we started delivering training courses I was so scared that I had to get hypnotized to help me overcome my fears! Now we turn over £10 million a year and employ 56 staff including trainers – and I leave the training to them!

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