Free tea giveaway by East of England Co-op
- Credit: Ashley Pickering/Anglia Picture
A new initiative to bring the community together with a cup of tea has been launched in East Anglia.
The East of England Co-op is donating 500,000 tea bags to its customers this Christmas for its inaugural Tea for Two campaign.
It is giving away a free pair of tea bags with every transaction until December 20 to encourage customers to have a cup of tea with someone who they know may need company or they may not have seen for a while.
The East of England Co-op is aiming to give away 250,000 pairs of tea bags to help generate potentially thousands of important conversations this Christmas.
Minnie Moll, joint chief executive of the East of England Co-op, said: 'There is a lot to be said for the power of a warm cup of tea and how it can be a catalyst for conversation.
'For many people, Christmas can be a difficult and lonely time, but a simple thing like sharing a cuppa can make a big difference to a person's day.
'With Tea for Two we want to bring people together and help ensure no one has to feel isolated this Christmas.'
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The East of England Co-op has 125 food stores across the region.
It launched a campaign called Co-op Cuppa in 2015 and every year donates hundreds of thousands of its tea bags to local good causes and community groups in Norfolk and the East of England.
More than half a million tea bags have been donated to more than 800 local good causes across the region.
One community group to benefit from the Co-op Cuppa scheme is The Grapes Hill Community Garden Group in Norwich.
Secretary of the community group, Fran Ellington, said: 'East of England Co-op helped our community group by giving away free tea bags with which we make free cups of tea at our volunteer events and at Co-op funded free workshops.'
To help stir up a conversation with when having a cup of tea with someone through Tea for Two, the East of England Co-op has put together its own top tips. They include putting phones away and not giving them your undivided attention, not to be pushy, let them lead the conversation if they prefer and a biscuit or piece of cake will usually be welcomed alongside the cup of tea.