Software firm donates £3m to charitable causes on 40th birthday

An MAF plane delivering aid
Image caption,The charity MAF sends humanitarian aid by plane to remote destinations

By Ashlea Tracey

BBC News, Isle of Man

A Manx software company has donated £3m to charitable causes to mark its 40th anniversary.

AFD Software pledged £1m to 80 groups, including Isle of Play, Beach Buddies and Isle Stand Up to Suicide.

The firm has also bought a £2m humanitarian aircraft to support people in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.

AFD Managing director David Dorricott said the plane would provide “vital” medical aid and food supplies to communities in the remote destination.

The Cessna 208 Caravan, a gift to humanitarian air service Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), will be modified to land on the side of mountains and in deep jungle clearings.

It is also set to transport passengers and solar panels for bush clinics to enable people to become less reliant on petrol-generated power by early 2025.

Members of MAF and AFD with a line drawing of the aircraft
Image caption,Donovan Palmer (right) said the plane would be a lifeline for thousands of people

MAF chief executive Donovan Palmer said the service would be a “lifeline for thousands of people in Papua New Guinea where isolation kills every single day”.

When people in the area learned about the new connection, they began to build an air strip “with rudimentary tools” as they were “so motivated for the planes to come to their area”, he said.

The donation is the second of it’s kind by the Manx company, which also donated funds to the charity for a Kodiak aeroplane to mark its 25th anniversary.

That light aircraft performs lifesaving flights in Kalimantan, Borneo, and has transported about 25,000 passengers and delivered 141,725st (900,000kg) of aid over the past 15 years.

Hundreds of medical evacuation flights had also “undoubtedly saved many lives”, Mr Palmer said.

AFD team with the Kodiak
Image caption,AFD previously donated a Kodiak to MAF

The other charities set to benefit are based on island and across the world.

The firm, which created postcode and address management software, had donated more than £10m to charitable causes since it was founded in 1983.

Mr Dorricott said he was “thrilled” the donations, which he described as an expression of his Christian faith, would “transform the quality of life for thousands”.

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