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Exclusive: The Drinks Trust launches ambitious Cost of Living Crisis Appeal

Published:  08 June, 2023

The Drinks Trust is looking to raise an unprecedented £230,000 with its new Cost of Living Crisis Appeal between now and the end of the year.

The charity, which is appealing to the drinks industry to help raise the money, revealed that it has experienced “unprecedented demand” for support from those suffering financially and in terms of well-being.

In support of the Appeal, this September (28th) will also see the return of the Golden Pineapple Awards – the popular ticketed event celebrating the businesses and people in the drinks world that have invested in the welfare of their staff – plus new and additional activities, including a Harvest Tour cycling event, taking in English vineyards along the way.

Figures released by The Drinks Trust reveal the scale of the crisis affecting many in the drinks and drinks-related world. These show that the average grant for financial support in January 2023 was double that of January 2022, and that applications for grants in the first quarter of the year have far exceeded those at any other time since the charity’s foundation in 1886.

The health toll being taken by the cost-of-living crisis is also apparent, with calls to the support line from people suffering with mental health problems and well-being issues having trebled since the same period a year ago.

In the drinks and wider hospitality industry, the personal issues caused by the cost-of-living crisis have also been exacerbated by inflationary pressures on businesses and business owners, adding to the urgent need behind the Cost of Living Crisis Appeal.

Ross Carter, CEO of The Drinks Trust, told Harpers: “Applications for support went through the roof in January and February and demand is still at a record high.

“Following Covid, the long tail of the energy crisis has had a significant impact on financial hardship, along with rising food bills, travel costs, rents, utility bills… pretty much everything. And the hospitality and drinks industry is particularly hard hit, not least with a large number of people on entry-level wages,” he added.

Carter explained that the biggest difference between the Cost of Living Appeal campaign and previous Drinks Trust initiatives is that this is multi-faceted. Events such as The Golden Pineapple Awards, its concurrent online Pineapple Auction, the Harvest Tour cycling (in partnership with The Wine Sports Club Foundation), plus Fundraiser Challenge events and corporate Donor Appeal, will all help channel fundraising towards the goal of £230,000.

“Since The Drinks Trust [previously The Benevolent] officially rebranded and relaunched in 2019, just ahead of the first lockdown, it has grown to help and support three times as many people annually, now making a difference to up to 4,000 people a year,” said Carter.

In addition to financial support for hardship, the charity also offers wellbeing support and industry training, with the latter set to hit a new high of 1,000 people being given a professional leg-up towards new drinks and hospitality roles this year.

Application for financial assistance, wellbeing support and/or industry training is open to those working in businesses where all or part of the income comes from the sale of adult drinks and which have been in business for at least two years.

To get in touch with The Drinks Trust Fundraising team to find out more, please go to: or visit the dedicated Cost of Living Crisis Appeal web pages here.