The Drinks Trust (formerly The Benevolent) has launched an emergency fund to support those in the drinks industry left in financial straits as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The charity has so far fundraised over £400,000 with the support of leading industry businesses which will be made available from Monday 6 April, with successful applicants being awarded a £250 grant to assist them with buying essentials.
“Substantial” donations have been made by companies such as Concha y Toro and Pernod Ricard through the ‘Your Round, Our Industry’ campaign, while other companies such as Sipsmith, risky Auction, Fox and Fox and Asterley Bros have also raised funds through initiatives of their own.
More businesses have also stepped forward to donate to the Trust.
The fund will be used to support those in the industry in the following ways:
Ongoing beneficiaries – The Drinks Trust will support over 350 vulnerable beneficiaries, many of them retired drinks industry staff and in the ‘at-risk’ categories with severe critical illnesses and mental health concerns.
Ongoing grants currently total £30,000 a month, historically paid by industry donations. Not all the usual contributors are able to continue as they normally do, however, so the fund is crucial to keeping up with these payments.
Wellbeing services – There has been an increase in individuals contacting the Trust with anxiety and depression concerns and to help in tis regard the Trust is keen to expand its helpline services.
Financial Support – From 6 April, those who have los their job as a result of the pandemic will be able to apply for a grant.
This initiative is targeted at the following two groups:
1. Those who have been made redundant and subsequently not been reinstated, meaning they are unable to benefit from the salary grant scheme set out by the Chancellor
2. Those on zero hours contracts who will receive only small levels of financial benefit from the salary support measures outlined by the Chancellor
Additionally, these individuals will have worked in one of the following establishments;
On-trade; bars, pubs and those who worked with drinks in restaurants and hotels, such as sommeliers and beverage managers
Off-trade; those who worked in alcohol retailing businesses
Distribution; those who worked in businesses supplying the above
Qualifying individuals will be able to access a one-off financial grant of £250, payable directly into their bank account. The Drinks Trust will apply its expertise in assessing hardship and will prioritise individuals who have health conditions, and also those caring for dependents.
The Drinks Trust said: “We anticipate a high level of demand, therefore, the window for applications under this scheme is limited between Monday 6 April and Friday 10 April 2020.”