Charity & Patronages

Thanks to the media profile and business success, our Chairman, Theo Paphitis, counts himself lucky that he is in the unique position to help the projects and causes that he is passionate about.

There are many charities that Theo has worked with, either as a Patron, or just helped over the years.  We hope that you enjoy reading about the projects that have been particularly close to his heart.

Theo Paphitis Charitable Trust

The Theo Paphitis Charitable Trust was launched 15 years ago, with the aim of helping as many charities across the UK as possible, especially those which support children and education, people with disabilities and learning difficulties, care for the elderly, and much more.  Many of these charities have been introduced to us by our colleagues who are continually raising funds for causes close to their hearts and the Trust happily supports them with their impressive efforts.  The Trust is funded by Theo’s public work and TV appearances, as well as donations made by his retail brands from the plastic carrier bag levy.

To date, the Trust has raised almost £1million in charitable donations. 

The Charitable Trust is proud to support two of these charities in a much bigger way: Starlight Children’s Foundation and OnSide Youth Zones.

Starlight Children’s Foundation

Starlight Children’s Foundation was founded in 1982 and has become the national children’s charity which provides hospital play & distraction services, wish granting and family escapes for seriously ill children. Their services are available in over 800 hospitals across the UK, enabling children to grow and develop, experiencing childhood as it should be, and supporting the health professionals along the way. 

One of the main ways in which the charity supports health play specialists, is through the use of the ‘Starlight Distraction Box’. This is a portable toolkit filled with a variety of toys, games and puzzles to distract a child during medical procedures.

OnSide Youth Zones

OnSide was founded in 2008 as a boys and girls club based in Bolton, Greater Manchester. Since then, the charity has set up various “Youth Zones” across the country, designed to give young people aged 8-19 from deprived areas (up to 25 for those with a disability), somewhere to go after school, something to do and someone to talk to - occupying them with engaging activities, helping them to develop new skills and socialise in a safe, positive and accessible environment. Activities involve sports, dance, arts & crafts, boxing, climbing walls, cookery lessons, and much more.  The Zones are visited by over 500,000 young people each year.

One of the latest sites — scheduled to open in June 2020 — will be the Hideout Youthzone, based in Gorton, East Manchester. The Zone is expected to reach over 3,000 young people from central and east Manchester within its first year of operation. Having grown up in the area, Theo is supporting the development of the site as one of its Founder Patrons.

Comic Relief

Theo was a Director of Comic Relief for six years, until 2018, and Ryman and Robert Dyas has proudly been a key partner to the Comic Relief and Sport Relief causes, selling pens and other merchandise in stores and raising money through their fantastic colleagues across the group.

Theo has personally visited projects funded by Comic Relief in both Africa in the UK and continues to be driven by the fantastic work that they carry out. In 2013 Robert Dyas joined the cause and over the years Ryman and Robert Dyas have arranged some fantastic, and often wacky, events and fundraisers. From the store colleagues right up to the Board of Directors everyone has joined in to raise almost £4,700,000 so far!

In 2014 Theo appeared on the BBC’s Famous, Rich and Hungry as part of Sport Relief’s season of programming to highlight how for millions of people in Britain, going hungry is a very real issue. Theo put his life on hold to live with families who couldn’t afford to eat and had just 76p to spend per person per day on food.

The Skills Show

Theo is extremely passionate about skills and apprenticeships and served as Patron of the Skills Show for four years, until 2016. The Skills Show is the nation’s largest skills and careers event held every November at the Birmingham NEC that helps to shape the future of a new generation.

Delivered in partnership with the Skills Funding Agency and the National Apprenticeship Service, the Skills Show raises awareness of the importance of vocational skills and careers. The Skills Show is a vital tool to show young people that there are viable and successful alternatives to University out there – they just need to know about them!

For more information on the nation’s largest skills and careers event click here.

The Ryman National Enterprise Challenge

Ryman was the headline sponsor for The National Enterprise Challenge, the UK’s largest school enterprise day, for five years until 2019. It is a nationwide competition with the aim of finding Britain’s next generation of budding entrepreneurs. Over 60,000 young people from more than 200 schools have already taken part.

The challenges are tailor made ‘real life’ business challenges, encompassing everything from Research & Development, Sales & Marketing to Accounting, Budgeting and Financial Planning. Ryman Stationery played an integral part in developing the challenges and the competition is available to all secondary schools in the UK and is divided into two age categories, KS3 and KS4.

Theo was the ambassador for the Ryman NEC and personally attended the annual finals day to pick the winning team each summer, be a head judge and also do an on-stage Q&A to motivate the children. Click here to find out more about the NEC.

The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Theo spearheaded the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital ‘Many Hands’ Campaign since the launch of the first campaign in 2008 and is a cause which is extremely close to his heart. The campaign encourages North West businesses to support the charity by signing up to manageable fundraising targets, as Many Hands make light work!

The Many Hands campaign raises £50,000 towards key needs for the hospital. If 50 local companies pledge to raise just £1,000, the target will be reached.

Click here to see how you can help.

The Paphitis Charitable Trust

The Paphitis Charitable Trust distributes Theo’s fees from TV appearances, speeches and his book to causes close to his heart, especially children’s charities. Funds received are then distributed by a panel of trustees to a variety of registered charities.

The Paphitis Charitable Trust typically assists smaller UK charities that have difficulty in gaining funds from other organisations. Recipients range from charities helping children to hospices providing childrens’ palliative care.

If you would like to contact the Trust please email [email protected]