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The Drinks Trust welcomes three new patrons

Published:  02 March, 2022

The Drinks Trust, a community organisation for people in the drinks industry, has welcomed three new Patrons to increase the charity's reach and impact.

Andy Clarke, Ian Harris MBE, and Helen McGinn have joined the group's roll call of prestigious names.

Matthew Rhys, Jancis Robinson MW OBE and Olly Smith, and Founder Patron Tom Yusef were initial Patrons for The Drinks Trust. They were joined by Ian Burrell, Becky Paskin and Jaega Wise in 2021.

Andy Clarke is one of the UK's most exciting and vibrant voices in the food and drink industry. Having worked in food, drink and travel television for several years producing and directing programmes such as James Martin's French and American Adventures, 'Gordon, Gino & Fred: Road Trip' and most recently 'The Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver'.

Following the announcement, Andy Clarke said: "I am beyond excited about becoming a Patron of The Drinks Trust. It is an honour to join a team that supports people in the industry in so many ways. I am particularly keen to help those who need support with their wellbeing to keep our drinks industry family happy and healthy."

Ian Harris has had a lifelong career in the wine and spirits industry – the past 20 years as chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Under his leadership, the annual student numbers grew from 10,000 per annum in 2002 to over 108,000 in his final year, and WSET qualifications are now available in 75 countries. 

He was awarded an MBE in the 2018 New Year's Honours List for the wine and spirits industry services.

Harris commented: "I was delighted and honoured to be asked to become a Patron of The Drinks Trust at a time when I am stepping down as CEO of WSET. The charity's work has always been close to my heart, and I have done several charity bike rides in the past ten years to provide tangible, monetary support. And I know many people who have been helped in so many ways during my 45-year career in the industry."

Helen McGinn is an author, drinks writer and presenter. After spending a decade as a supermarket wine buyer, she founded wine blog The Knackered Mother's Wine Club, now also a best-selling wine book. She co-chairs the International Wine Challenge, is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail's Femail Magazine and Waitrose Food Magazine, and regularly appears on television as a wine expert on BBC1's Saturday Kitchen and ITV's This Morning. 

Helen McGinn said: "I'm so pleased to be joining The Drinks Trust as a Patron and can't wait to support the Trust in raising awareness of the wonderful work being done across so many areas. The trade has been good to me for many years, so I'm particularly keen to help with initiatives for those wanting to further develop their careers in the world of drinks."

Ross Carter, CEO of The Drinks Trust, added: "We are honoured and thrilled to welcome Andy, Ian and Helen as new Patrons of our Charity. As we continue to support the drinks hospitality industry, working with Andy, Ian, Helen and all our existing Patrons, we hope to be able to deliver our services to a wider audience and, in turn, have a significant impact on the lives and careers of our workforce in the coming months and years."