Social Awareness

The local communities around our two maltings are incredibly important to us

Simpsons Malt is one of the largest employers in the small Northumbrian town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with more than 200 employees. As an employer of more than 70 people in rural south Norfolk, too, over many years we have forged strong ties within these close-knit communities.

These ties reflect our status as a fifth-generation family business and have been built up through an extensive history of supporting a range of clubs, initiatives or projects – many of which our employees are involved with or are connected to in some way.

THE SIMPSON MCCREATH TRUST

Founded in 2008, our charitable arm – The Simpson McCreath Trust (registered no. 1126805) – operates independently of Simpsons Malt and is funded through up to 1% of the company’s annual profits.

The Simpson McCreath Trust reflects the interests of its trustees – two members of the Simpson family and two members of the McCreath family – and is particularly active in the areas of sport, arts and culture, health and social welfare, education, community facilities and the environment.

The trustees meet quarterly – in February, May, August and November – to consider applications. Registering for an application form should be made in writing to: The Charity Administrator, The Simpson McCreath Trust, c/o Tweed Valley Maltings, Tweedside Trading Estate, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 2UZ.

Many clubs, events and organisations have benefited over the years from the sponsorship and support of both Simpsons Malt itself, as well as The Simpson McCreath Trust, and we’re delighted to share details of some of the beneficiaries across various sectors below.

SPORT

Berwick Rangers Juniors FC

In May 2019, we supported local football club Berwick Rangers Juniors by becoming the kit sponsors for all 13 of its junior teams for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.

The sponsorship deal saw the Simpsons Malt logo on the front and the McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP) logo on the rear of more than 160 strips across the 13 teams.

“We are absolutely delighted to be the main kit sponsor for Berwick Juniors and help to support a club that is run entirely by hard-working volunteers whose aim is to provide the best possible introduction to the sport for hundreds of local children.”

Richard Simpson, Simpsons Malt Vice Chairman

It also marked the first time in the 40-year history of Berwick Rangers Juniors that all the club’s teams had been sponsored by the same company.

“A goal of ours was to try and get every team to have the same sponsor. Thanks to Simpsons Malt and MSP, we have been able to do that, which is a massive step forward for us as a club.”

Sean Jackson, Berwick Rangers Juniors Secretary

Such was the success of the partnership, we agreed to continue the partnership for a further two years, covering the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.

Beccles Town FC (U14 Girls)

Following the 2019 Women’s World Cup, where England’s football team captured the imagination of the nation by reaching the semi-finals of the competition, we decided to throw our support behind Beccles Town FC’s thriving U14 Girls team.

We became the main shirt sponsor for the team, whose home is around a 30-minute drive from our Tivetshall Maltings in Norfolk. We also pledged funds towards some substitute jackets, with all of the kit very well received by the management and players.

The Curfew Run

For many years, Simpsons Malt has been the main sponsor of the historic Curfew Run. The 1.2-mile fun run around Berwick-upon-Tweed’s Elizabethan town walls attracts runners of all ages and abilities and is organised by local running club, the Tweed Striders.

The challenge of the 1.2-mile run, which commemorates the closing of the town walls, is to beat the 13 minutes it takes until the Curfew Bell tolls.

Immediately after crossing the finish line, all participants are presented with a Simpsons Malt branded bag packed with a free t-shirt and other goodies as part of our sponsorship.

LOCAL ARTS & CULTURE

The Riding of the Bounds

Another Simpsons Malt sponsorship that has spanned several years is with the Berwick Riders Association and its annual Riding of the Bounds, which dates back to the 16th century.

The annual event is a celebration of the traditional 15-mile ride to check the security of the town boundaries. Over the years, our sponsorship has contributed towards riding lessons and horse hire for a number of participants, as well as general costs that hosting such an event requires.

The Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

The annual, four-day Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (BFMAF) is one of the UK’s leading festivals for new cinema and artists’ moving image, bringing tourists to the town from all over the world.

Given the festival’s popularity and the economic boost it provides the town, The Simpson McCreath Trust has supported the BFMAF for many years, contributing towards various projects.

Most of these involve the local community and children in particular, getting them to explore film and animation in a fun and creative way.

Damp Knight Comedy

In July 2019, The Simpson McCreath Trust presented a grant totalling £2,000 to Berwick-upon-Tweed comedy quartet Damp Knight Comedy.

The money allowed the group to purchase a full microphone kit and speaker, assisting the audience in being able to hear their live improvised comedy shows more clearly. The local youth theatre at The Maltings in Berwick also benefited from the new equipment.

“We had to hire microphone kits in the past, for both ourselves and the Youth Theatre, so to have our own now is important for both groups in helping to cut costs, professionalise our performances and develop local talent in the arts.”

Ross Graham, Damp Knight Comedy Group Admin & Performer

Richard Simpson and others holding food basket at Berwick Food and Beer Festival

LOCAL FOOD & DRINK

The Berwick Food & Beer Festival

Run by Berwick’s Slow Food Group, the annual Berwick Food & Beer Festival – held every September – is a celebration of local producers and showcases the region’s unique heritage and provenance for food and drink, aiming to make local links come alive for visitors.

As well as more than 50 stalls featuring local food companies and entertainment for the whole family, there is also a marquee that plays host to local bands and around ten breweries from the area. Many of these, such as Cheviot Brewery, Bear Claw Brewery and Tempest Brewing Co., are customers of ours.

“Simpsons Malt is proud to produce some of the finest malt, which comes from barley grown in nearby fields. Being part of a festival that celebrates local, quality produce gets our wholehearted backing.”

Tim McCreath, Simpsons Malt Managing Director

Northern Soul Kitchen

Since its formation in 2018, we have been avid supporters of the Northern Soul Kitchen – a food waste initiative in Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Situated in the town centre, it is a collaborative community space that takes unsold, yet edible food from supermarkets, local shops and households to create affordable and balanced meals for all.

In doing so, the Northern Soul Kitchen is tackling food waste in the local area, food poverty and instability, social isolation and a lack of understanding about food and nutrition. Their inspiring mission resonated with us and we support their efforts on an ongoing, annual basis.

EDUCATION

Greenpower Education Trust

Greenpower Education Trust is a UK-based charity that helps to unlock potential and spark enthusiasm for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) by getting students at schools and universities to design, build and race an electric car.

Our donation to the Greenpower project at Eyemouth High School in the Scottish Borders helped to build a specially designed trailer so that the two electric cars built by the students could be safely transported to race days across the country.

The Grove School

In January 2018, The Simpson McCreath Trust donated a £5,000 to The Grove School, which provides education and care for pupils with severe learning difficulties.

The funds allowed the school to purchase a specially adapted bed, which has helped staff carry out essential physiotherapy programmes for pupils. These were previously carried out at floor level, causing problems for both pupils and staff.

“Physiotherapy can be distressing and uncomfortable for some of our learners. As many of our pupils have poor eye-sight, now being able to practice physiotherapy sessions at eye-level has given the students greater reassurance.

“We were very grateful to The Simpson McCreath Trust for their generous donation. As a school, we’re committed to ensuring the very best education and care for every learner, and this grant has helped us continue to honour this commitment.”

Penny Derries, Grove School Head Teacher

If you’re part of a club, group or organisation local to either of our two maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed or Tivetshall St Margaret and would like to get in touch with us, please contact bam@simpsonsmalt.co.uk.