The Drinks Trust launches its Covid-19 Emergency Fund

The Drink Trust’s Covid-19 Emergency Fund goes live today and will run until April 10. 

The Fund was set up following a significant increase in demand for the Trust’s services as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, which has left many individuals in desperate need of support. 

Successful applicants will be awarded a £250 grant to assist them with essentials and to help them through the weeks ahead. 

The Drinks Trust said the response from the drinks industry to its fundraising campaign, ‘Your Round, Our Industry’, has been significant. It highlighted substantial donations from Pernod Ricard and Concha y Toro UK, as well as successful fundraising initiatives from Sipsmith, Whisky Auction, Fox and Fox and Asterley Bros amongst others, which enabled it to launch the Emergency Fund. 

It added that many more industry businesses are now looking to support the Trust with its work and more donors will be announced in coming days.

The Fund will support industry colleagues in need in the following ways:  

Ongoing Beneficiaries - The Drinks Trust continues to support over 350 vulnerable beneficiaries, a significant proportion of whom are retired drinks industry staff and amongst the most at-risk groups with regards to COVID-19. Many of them are being assisted as a result of critical illness, severe mental health concerns and extreme hardship.  

The Drinks Trust pays in excess of £30,000 a month in ongoing grants which was historically funded by donations from businesses across the industry. Many historical business partners are now struggling themselves and, understandably, cannot contribute the same level as they have in previous years, the Trust said. This makes the need of support from business partners who can help even more crucial than before. 

Wellbeing Services - There has been a significant increase in individuals contacting the Trust regarding anxiety and depression concerns as well as sleep and insomnia issues. To tackle this demand, The Drinks Trust helpline is being increased in capacity and access to talking and well-being therapies will be extended.

COVID 19 Emergency Financial Support - the financial support scheme is open to drinks industry individuals who have lost their employment and income. 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; 

A. On-trade; bars, pubs and those who worked with drinks in restaurants and hotels, such as sommeliers and beverage managers

B. Off-trade; those who worked in alcohol retailing businesses 

C. 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.

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If further funds become available, the Trust may look to extend the scheme to provide a further period of temporary assistance.

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