TeaTwyne, A Social Enterprise

A Social Enterprise project Telford, United Kingdom

Hi there,!My name is David Hopkins, and I starting a new business called TeaTwyne, which is a Social Enterprise. Based in Telford,...

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Hi there,!My name is David Hopkins, and I starting a new business called TeaTwyne, which is a Social Enterprise. Based in Telford, Shropshire, I distribute beautifully decorated boxes, and boxes with Charities logos on them, and I sell each teabag for £1. Each box will have 20 assorted teabags in, with a range of different flavour teas, and infusions, as well as coffees like, Latte's, Mocha's and Cappuccino's. These boxes will be based on honesty and will be placed in offices and places of work in Telford and Shropshire, but i can also distribute further afield too.

20 % of all my Sales will go to Charities, and i will 'give back' to society and help improve my community and help people in need. I intend to distribute about 20-30 boxes maybe more, depending upon demand all over my area and beyond. 

I have struggled with gaining full time employment myself, and my Wife has Cystic Fibrosis, so I do spend time looking after her. My Wife would love to work too, but unfortunately due to her illness, and long periods of sickness, she cant achieve this. I want to do something special and develop this business selling my flavoured teas, but at the same time give back. I want to be known as a company that helps the community, and i  want to work with quite a few charities,a nd establish working partnerships, so that i am a backer for these charities.

Charities i intend to help are Cystic Fibrosis, which is a Chronic lifelong illness of the lungs, where they fill up with mucus, and have difficulty breathing and affects sufferers in a multitude if ways. I also support Age Uk, as i have worked in a Voluntary basis for my local community groups, helping out, and sometimes the funding just isnt there to reach all of the elderly and their carers. I want old people to be able to get the support they want, help keep them more independant and less isolated, and do more to involve this group of people.

Mind are also a charity i intend to work with too, as i myself have suffered having Aspergers, and when my Dad died, a few years ago, they really helped me. I dont think there is enough support out there, for people experiencing mental distress, and then there is still a stigma attached too, and people can be too quick to judge, instead if helping, so more awareness and provision for support for these people is what i want to help with.

The Newlife Foundation too, based in Cannock, Staffordshire, is a Charity that helps disabled and very ill children, that need specialist equipment, to help save and their make their lifes better and more manageable. I want to help to support these local children, who are in desperate need, and often forgotten. I will also support Cancer Research too.

My desire to help others and help people less fortunate than me, and to do this business and project have all come from my recent life experiences.

I have also overcome adversity myself in recent years, as a few years ago, i tragically lost my Dad to Lung Cancer a few years ago. He became ill, and wouldnt go to hospital, until it was far too late, he was getting sicker and sicker. When we got the diagnosis, it just confirmed our worst fears, and he was given just months to live. He had a few weeks in hospital, came home, and was so ill, he couldnt manage anything, so me and my mum had to look after him, so i couldnt work in this period either. It was heartbreaking to see my him, literally dying infront of us, struggling for every breath, and for every step, hooked up to oxygen machines, he couldnt eat, and was losing so much weight it was distressing to see. 

My mum was really struggling too, and i had to look after both of them, and it was incredibly difficult. I then went out to the shop one morning, and came back to find my dad not there, the ambulance had taken him, and rushed him to Shrewsbury, about 15 miles away. We had to inform everyone, and we got a lift, up there, but he was so ill, and the doctors gave him 2 weeks, however, the next day, we got that dreaded phone call, saying 'you need to come ASAP', we got there, and my Sister who dosent live at home anymore has to get my grandma and his mum, (i didnt drive back then) from Yorkshire too, but they didnt make it back in time sadly, as he passed away on that evening, as me and my mum were holding his hand. I was only 24 then, i was way too young to lose my Dad, and was in total disbelief, but i had accepted that this was going to happen. unfortunately my mum didnt, and she completely fell apart, they had been married for nearly 30 years, so this is understandable. He was her life, and i hadnt been able to go to work, or see friends much, in the previous months, as i had to look after them. My asister then had her boyfriend and his family, but i had no one, to really talk to, as many of my friends were too interested in hitting the bottle, and i kind of got socially isolated, i didnt have a partner at the time either. My mental health took a battering, and it got worse in the weeks after his death, arranging the funeral, trying to help my mum, it was Christmas too. My mum started deteriating too, become severely depressed and isolated, and i was scared of leaving her alone, she wouldn't eat, and just wanted to be with my Dad, and completely 'Shut down'.

I felt like i lost my mum and dad, and was stuck in the house too much, but had to make sure my mother ate, and had to make sure she didnt do anything silly, which was a real threat at one point. I was crying out for help, dealing with all this on my own, and it just wasnt there, i chatted to a few mates, but men cant always talk about emotional stuff together. I just felt like crying but i had to be strong for my mum, but all this was destroying me and my Mental health. I turned to Mind, in the end, as i was becoming very depressed myself, and they did help me with talking therapies, and a listening ear. I managed to then pick up a few agency temporary jobs, but just as and when needed, but i had a gaping gap in my CV now, which employers found it difficult to look past. I really struggled to gain meaningful employment after this, my mum picked up a bit but it was not good fo us both be stuck in the house together all the time, i needed a distraction, instead of a constant reminder. I then had to fight depression, which further damaged my chances of employment, and then i met a wonderful girl called Rachel, and she had Cystic Fibrosis.

This changed my life, i had someone to talk to, i met someone who i could relate to, and accepted me, like i accepted her for illness. Maybe some people think i might be mad to take on a CF sufferer, but i looked beyond that, as she did with me. Her health however soon deteriated and i had to look after her too, and i couldnt work again, and she still has bouts of really ill health. She has a brother with Autism too, and there is no support for him, or Autistic people over the age of 18 really either. Neither of them, can gain meaningfull employment, and constantly have to struggleon benefits, and its not fair, there should be more chances for them. I have had to really struggle financially too, and life is very tough, living without being able to support myself, and relying in the state which I hate doing. At best i have had a few weeks work here, a few weeks there, on various temporary contracts, but because of my CV now, i feel i get knocked back for permanent jobs, and i feel like im 'written off' by them, after so long. All these experiences have made me who i am today, i just want to be able to work for myself, and develop a business, whichs helps others, and to support myself, without having to rely on others and handouts. My mission is to help overcome social problems, and if my business helps these charities, to say fund a holiday for a disabled child, a specialist wheelchair, an old lady to engage in society again, a CF'er to get the support, an Autistic adult to get help and support and into work then i will be a very proud man, as i will be achieving my goals.

I therefore am looking for funding to help buy these charity display boxes, all my products, i offer a wide range of teas, using my suppliers. Some of the products for e.g, Mint Selections, Buttermint, Peppermint and more, Strawberry and Raspberry, Apple & Mango,St Clements, Liquorice teas, Blackcurrant, Blueberry,Gingers selections. Green teas, flavoured green teas, like pineapple and peppermint and more, black and white tea, Assam, thai chai lattes, hot chocolate sachets, mint, orange, turkish delight, and sachets of Latte's, Mocha and Cappuccino, and many more!

Each box will have a random selection of 20 sachets of teas or coffee in them, and i will distribute a box on every Friday Afternoon, and collect andf replenish the following Friday afternoon and collect the money, and distribute the appropiate monies (£4) to charities. Each office or place of work would then be contributing £16 over every 4 week period to help these charities, all though each office will support one charity each ( to be discussed).My goals are to sell 20 drinks in a week at £1 each, and from Monday-Friday, over 5 days, a target of just 4 teas to be sold a day is my target, so i will then achieve my goals of selling out each box in a week, and keeping my promise to these charities. 

There are many tea shops out there, like Costa Coffee, Starbucks, but they dont all have the Social appeal that i have, my companys goal, is to directly help people, and i am a Social Enterprise. I have my personality and my charity appeal, and really want to make a difference.

So i want to be able to buy start up stock, as well as boxes, market myself, advertise myself, and attend networking events, and general start up costs.

Your help is very much appreciated, thankyou so much for taking the time to read about my project, and thanks once again, any donation is warmly appreciated.

Thankyou