The Benevolent is the trade charity for people who are currently working, or have worked, in the UK drinks industry in any role and in any trade sector. The Benevolent is the only charity that supports employees, or former employees, from every area of the UK drinks industry providing practical, emotional and financial help. Since 1886, the charity has been supporting our colleagues facing a variety of difficult circumstances, including serious illness, disability, issues with stress or depression, with debt or any family crisis such as a seriously ill partner or child.
The Benevolent improves the quality of life for vulnerable members of the wider drinks industry community across the country by providing them with practical, emotional and financial support. Areas of the trade covered by The Benevolent charitable remit include bars, breweries, spirits companies, distilleries, wine sector, off licenses, warehouse together with any office environment where the company’s primary function is supporting the production, distribution, promotion or sale of primary alcohol.
The Benevolent’s charitable operations are driven and defined by a unique ability to provide bespoke support to vulnerable members of the trade. The Benevolent’s Welfare Officers assess each applicant’s circumstances on a case by case basis and create a tailored package that meets the individual’s practical, emotional and financial needs.
A special focus of the strategy is now to provide more emotional support and make this a cornerstone of the charitable operations of The Benevolent. The Benevolent has felt the need to expand the scope of support provided to tackle relevant issues experienced by colleagues of our trade in need. The Benevolent aims to assist a wider range of wellbeing issues that include mental health, stress, and well-being.
A tangible example is Mike’s story.
Mike has always been driven by a real passion for the spirits sector, which led him to take up the fascinating career of bartending. Mike was fully enjoying his role as a bar manager in one of the most popular cocktail bars in London when the bar proprietor decided to unfairly dismiss him. Not only was the dismissal unfair and had an immediate effect, but also Mike was denied any lump sum for all unused annual leave. Mike had to face the emotional distress of being made unfairly and illegally redundant, and also found himself under a big financial strain as the job was his only source of income. Many young professional bartenders like Mike struggle on a daily basis to cope with living costs, especially in London, and very few can afford the safety net of insurance policies or savings. Under an incredible amount of stress and genuinely scared, Mike started feeling lost and depressed, not knowing where to turn to.
Mike was referred to the charity by a friend and Benevolent’s Ambassador, and the trade charity immediately intervened. The organisation not only funded the fees of Mike’s solicitor in order to take the case before a tribunal but also provided him an extra emergency grant to put him back on his feet during this stressful time. Moreover, the charity has been constantly on his side throughout the journey. Now Mike has realised that he’s not alone anymore, and now he is aware that The Benevolent will be there to lend a helping hand if he faces any future hardships.
Amongst the breadth of support provided, The Benevolent will activate a 100% confidential helpline provided by Connect Assist, a social enterprise company that manages a dedicated helpline and helpline consultancy services to The Benevolent. The confidential helpline will be available 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm and it is free of charge and it will be active from 25th September 2017.
To find out more about The Benevolent please visit: www.thebenevolent.org.uk or call 0800 915 4610.