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Saunders pinpoints 2020 as ‘revolutionary’ for The Benevolent

Published:  14 January, 2020

The Benevolent has revealed that there are “significant” plans in place to evolve the drinks industry charity in 2020.

In his second year as chairman, Michael Saunders shared details of the changes at The Vintners’ Company Annual Lunch, which was held in aid of The Benevolent.

Saunders said he had tasked Ross Carter, chief executive of The Benevolent since July 2019, with creating “a new benevolent”, one that “speaks to the 600,000” and said the change would be “revolution, not evolution”.

“In 2020 a significant transformation will take place at The Benevolent. Going forward, the charity will be looking to be an organisation that delivers opportunity and knowledge for the 600,000 people of the drinks industry, as well as supporting people with hardship and through wellbeing services. This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest shifts in the charity’s 130 year history,” he said.

Among the upcoming changes would be an emphasis on proactively assisting drinks industry professionals to excel in their careers and for The Benevolent to be a “proactive force” in their lives, benefitting individuals as well as the industry itself, he added.

The charity would continue to provide support for wellbeing and financial hardship as it has done since its inception in 1886, he said, and would additionally look to support individuals in the industry struggling with alcohol misuse.

“The Benevolent is at a cross roads and whilst the existing support of over 1000 individuals is a success, much more is needed to be done to reach the 600,000 people that the UK industry consists of,” said Saunders.

The Benevolent would look to build a community of “tens of thousands of confident industry professionals”, all of whom would receive support and access to knowledge as well as information about services traditionally offered by the charity, he added.

Further details about the pending changes are poised to be announced at The Benevolent Ball on 12 March.

Another highlight of the annual event was the presentation of The Vintners’ Benevolent Award, which went to Andrew Hawes, MD of Mentzendorff who, together with a group of colleagues, battled the hills and heat of Tuscany in June to complete the 350km Giro di Toscana bike ride raising £35,000 for The Benevolent,

The Vintners’ Company lunch itself raised over £13,000 aid of The Benevolent.