By Andy Hirst

A Huddersfield charity has just produced hundreds of Christmas hampers for a company that makes some of Britain’s best-known brands and is keen to do more work for corporate clients.

Ruddi’s Retreat is largely funded through its Slaithwaite café, shop and catering business and says corporate clients have become the charity’s lifeblood.

The charity provides free caravan breaks for families with children battling serious illnesses such as cancer, have life-limiting conditions or have suffered bereavement.

Ruddi’s has a close link-up with Colne Valley-based pharmaceutical company Thornton and Ross which has a large manufacturing site in Linthwaite and its offices in the imposing Globe Mill in the centre of Slaithwaite. Thornton and Ross makes some of Britain’s biggest brand names and its impressive list includes the UK’s leading disinfectant Zoflora along with cough medicine Covonia.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary in October it held a giant tea party for its 450 staff and Ruddi’s did all the catering.

They were so impressed they called in Ruddi’s again for Christmas hampers that include handmade treats from Ruddi’s for its workforce.

Thornton and Ross’ sister company, Manchester-based vaping products manufacturer NextGEN360 Ltd, also ordered hampers from Ruddi’s for its staff, bringing the total to 865.

Ruddi’s founder Ali Waterworth said: “I can’t stress how important it is for the charity to have brilliant corporate support like this, especially in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and now that we are in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

“We always provide top quality treats and food using local suppliers to protect local jobs and only use the best such as Bolster Moor and Brosters farm shops.”

Ruddi’s often provides catering to another of Huddersfield’s best-known companies, David Brown Santasalo, along with the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre next to the University of Huddersfield which is the base for several pioneering business enterprises.

Julia Wood, managing director of NextGEN360, said: “We’ve been thrilled to be able to support Ruddi’s Retreat and give them a chance to continue their amazing work into 2023 and beyond.”

Thornton and Ross managing director Rudolf Baer added: “We are delighted to be able to support Ruddi’s Retreat, a local charity that delivers directly on the purpose of our parent group, STADA, which is caring for people’s health as a trusted partner.”

Ruddi’s Retreat is badly needed because when families suddenly face a crisis caused by illness or bereavement they are often hit hard financially and so can’t afford a holiday.

The logistics of having a child in a wheelchair or needing oxygen can also make it impossible which is why one of the caravans has been specially adapted for wheelchairs and special medical needs.

Sarah, Duchess of York with Ruddi’s Retreat founder Ali Waterworth and her son Ruddi on a visit to Slaithwaite.

The four caravans are on the Primrose Valley Holiday Park near Filey and demand is so high with around 200 families helped each year they now need a fifth caravan and are fundraising to buy one for £50,000. This new caravan will probably go on the west coast near Blackpool.

Every time someone buys something from Ruddi’s shop or catering business they are helping the charity.

To contact Ruddi’s or phone 01484 766050.

For more information go to the website

* Copyright for this story belongs to freelance journalist ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire agency AH! PR ( specialising in stories for the media, press releases, blogging, copywriting, scriptwriting and applying for awards.