The Drinks Trust - the UK Drinks Industry Charity

Words by Simon Difford

The Drinks Trust - the UK Drinks Industry Charity image 1

The Drinks Trust (formerly The Benevolent) is a trade charity for people who are working, or have worked, in the UK drinks industry in any role and in any sector. This includes the production, distribution, marketing, import, export or retail sales of drinks brands in both the on trade and off trade of the UK market.

COVID-19 Relief Fund

The Drinks Trust launches a relief fund on 6th April 2020 to provide financial support to individuals who have been significantly affected by the coronavirus crisis. The application form is open until 7pm on 10th April, or until 10,000 applications are received.

While many members of the trade are able to continue in their existing roles, and will receive support from the government, others have found themselves in severe financial difficulty.

The fund aims to support 2,000 individuals who have been impacted by COVID-19, which are:
• Those who have been made redundant and have not been reinstated, so will be unable to benefit from the government's salary grant scheme.
• Those on zero-hour contracts who were on limited hours / lesser incomes and will therefore have limited income relief.

These individuals will have worked at the following businesses:
• On-trade: Pubs, bars and those working within the drinks sector in restaurants and hotels, including sommeliers and beverage managers.
• Off-trade: Individuals who worked in alcohol retailing businesses.
• Distribution: Individuals who worked in businesses supplying the above.

Those who qualify for the relief fund will be able to access a one-off financial grant of £250. Apply for the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Further services and support
The Drinks Trust have experienced an increase of calls to their Helpline and grants will be increased for telephone therapy in order to help even more people. For those who are most vulnerable and are looking for support, contact the The Drinks Trust Helpline on 0800 915 4610.

The Drinks Trust will also continue to support over 350 people, grants which exceed in total £30,000 each month. A proportion of these beneficiaries are retired drinks industry employees and are among the at-risk groups during the COVID-19 crisis.

As a small charity, The Drinks Trust are asking all businesses in the industry, who are able, to renew or become business partners. This will allow for more support to be given to those who need it most. The charity has already seen very kind donations and fundraising efforts, and donations are of course imperative so that the charity can reach and help more individuals in the UK drinks industry. Donate to The Drinks Trust.

Who is The Drinks Trust and how can they help?

Founded in 1886, The Drinks Trust's mission is to help colleagues from the drinks industry facing medical or financial hardship or any other workplace or home difficulties. These might include serious illness, disability, debt issues or a family crisis such as a seriously ill partner or child.

If you live and work in the UK and your current or previous employer's business deals primarily with alcoholic drinks in any way, then The Drinks Trust is there to help you - whether you are a bartender, retailer, importer or a driver delivering kegs of beer. The charity can provide you with a wide range of services including financial and emotional support as well as practical advice. The Drink Trust's services are completely confidential.

The Drinks Trust took a new direction in March 2020 when they announced their new logo, name and website. Formerly established as The Benevolent, the charity proposed a new vision for the future, with new wellbeing services being implemented, including support for insomnia, and increased therapy grants. Support will also be offered for mentoring, vocational tools and networking opportunities in a move towards becoming a community-focussed organisation. The event was held at their annual fundraiser at the Natural History Museum and over £43,000 was raised on the night.

Support available through The Drinks Trust


  • Ongoing or emergency payments to help you through financial hardship or if you are out of work for a long period of time.
  • Debt advice and counselling or help with housing issues.


  • Funding towards private treatments in times of crisis.
  • Funding towards legal advice or specialist agencies.


  • Support with stress, depression and other issues at home or in the workplace, or advice with employment rights.
  • Assistance with accessing support from specialist agencies if you are dealing with alcohol or drugs misuse.

The Drinks Trust offers even more than indicated above. If you are going through a tough period then contact The Drinks Trust for help.

To access support or find out more about your trade charity

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