Supporting our Communities, A Year in Review

Supporting our Communities, A Year in Review

Our commitment to support the communities we serve is underpinned by various projects and fundraising across our three charitable trusts that support community and environmental projects here in the North East, as well as in tea growing communities overseas.

Take a look at what’s been happening over the last year and the impact it’s having in our region, and beyond.

Ringtons Community Foundation

Our endowment fund with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland made awards totalling almost £60,000 in 2023. The panel visited St Martin’s Centre in February to present a cheque for £5,500 where the funds will improve the lives of vulnerable or isolated people in our home region of Byker, Newcastle.

Community Foundations


Ringtons Environmental Trust

Environmental Trust

Our Environmental Trust co-funded two projects in 2023 in partnership with Northumberland Wildlife Trust who we continue to partner with on long term projects. The NWT sought to restore a ‘representative upland ecosystem’ at Kielder Waterhead in Northumberland by re-introducing native trees to the area with their Wildwood project whilst re-establishing the supportive water vole population in the area. 

Completed in June 2023, these projects resulted in the planting of 39,000 trees of varying varieties, restoring 94 hectares of land which thrived in prehistoric times.


Photo: Ringtons and NWT members planting trees in Kielder. 

Tea Growing Charitable Trust

Photo: Dorica Richard, 33, tea farmer from the Mulanje District, Malawi as she leads cooking demonstrations within her community.


Project: Healthy Diets for Tea Communities

Invested: £25,000

Status: Completed

In partnership with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and the Ethical Tea Partnership, Ringtons embarked on a project to improve nutritional diets within tea communities through improved access to, and demand for, nutritious foods across India, Kenya, and Malawi. 

Our Impact

  • We reached over 730,000 workers and their families with the programme activities.
  • 78% of workers and farmers said they are more likely to consume the targeted nutritious foods following the programme.
  • 51% of workers now have access to shops and/or kitchen gardens which sell safe and nutritious foods.

Tea Factory

Photo: Tree nursery at Sukambizi Association Trust, Mulanje District, Malawi.


Project: Payment for Ecosystem Services in Malawi

Invested £40,000

Status: Ongoing

The Ethical Tea Partnership is currently developing a tree planting project with farmers in Malawi to boost their incomes while addressing some of the prevailing environmental challenges in tea-growing regions and providing a financially viable route for smallholders to access carbon finance. 

The pilot of this project has commenced and is working with two selected associations covering approximately 21,000 farmers in the Mulanje and Thyolo districts.


ETP Project

Photo: An inception workshop held in Rwanda.


Project: Our Tea, Our Voice

Invested £30,000

Status: New

This multi-country project, in partnership with the Ethical Tea Partnership, will promote transformative leadership in Rwanda, Kenya, and Indonesia.

The project aims to enhance the capacity of women, informal workers, and migrants, to be confident in their ability to hold leadership positions and normalise the inclusion of women leaders in decision-making. 

Ringtons are grateful to our partners on these projects without whom, these projects would not be possible. 


Closer to Home

Photo: A donation from Ringtons to Fare Share food bank.

Supporting Food Banks

We donated gift boxes to various foodbanks ahead of Christmas to add something a little special to the hundreds of seasonal food parcels handed out within our community.


Looking at Loneliness

Re-engage Quote

Our North East community remains close to our heart and we are committed to showing up at a local level. However as we continue to see the positive impact that we have on our customers, we knew it was time to take our work further afield in the efforts to support those affected by loneliness. 

A recent donation of £450 has allowed us to:

  • Thoughtfully match 30 isolated older people with a call companion for regular telephone calls.
  • Enable nine isolated older people to take part in socialisation groups to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

We recognise the importance of bringing generations together and the chance to share moments and feel cared for. Our partnership with national charity Re-engage brings us the opportunity to reach more people who may feel isolated whilst we support the wider activities and raise awareness of this charity. 

There will be much more to come from this partnership in 2024 and we look forward to connecting more people in our communities, one cuppa at a time. 


On-the-Ground Support

It’s not just Ringtons efforts that help our communities. Dedicated individuals continue to look for unique ways to support their chosen charities, and Ringtons is here to help.

One keen crafter put a creative spin on their fundraising efforts showcasing a unique Christmas craft which included repurposing some of our leftover coffee sacks to raise money for Daft as a Brush Cancer Care. 

Daft as a Brush


A Leisurely Lunch

This annual tradition when we give back to those who served Ringtons. Having been around since 1907, we owe a debt to our loyal and dedicated staff, both past and present. Retirees and guests from across our Northern region gathered for Christmas lunch with 94 people in attendance this year at The Country Hotel in Newcastle. 

Retiree Lunch

A Special Mention

Ringtons CEO Simon Smith is renowned for his annual charity challenges. 2023 saw Simon take to the water in the Lake District kayaking across 10 lakes in 22 hours; raising £1,075 for Caring Hands. This fantastic charity is local to the Ringtons head office and supports vulnerable elderly people, or those suffering from disabilities. They work to reduce loneliness and support people with mental health issues or those looking to lead a more independent life. This fundraising was matched by the Ringtons Community Foundation. 


Simon Smith Ringtons CEO
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