The drinks trade charity will now be known as The Drinks Trust as it seeks to broaden its reach, explained CEO Ross Carter in an exclusive interview with Imbibe.
As we reported back in January, the charity was planning a ‘revolution not an evolution’ in a bid to reach more of the 600,000 people that make up the UK drinks industry.
As well as the new name, the charity is adding more relevant services, such as sleep and insomnia support, managing alcohol consumption, and a fourfold increase in grants for talking therapies, in addition to the financial and practical assistance it already offers.
It will also be shifting its focus from being solely reactive to behaving more proactively to benefit the drinks trade community by introducing mentoring, vocational tools and networking opportunities, ‘allowing the community to learn from industry leaders and one another,’ said Carter.
Such services will include a £15,000 fund to help anyone in the industry to take qualifications that will benefit them in their career in the trade. ‘This can mean funding for WSET courses but also qualifications in things like marketing or management,’ Carter said.
It is hoped the revitalised organisation will attract more investment from parts of the trade it currently fails to reach, such as beer and spirit companies. Currently 70% of its fundraising comes from wine companies but the major growth in users of the charity’s services over the last six years has been from on-trade workers – those who have as much, if not more, to do with spirits, beers and ciders as with wine.
‘We hope the name change will make it clear which groups the charity can benefit and what it is that we do,’ said Carter, who also sought to reassure stakeholders that the re-brand had not been an expensive move.
‘We were very keen not to spend big figures on either the re-branding or new services such as a new websites and marketing and we have been so fortunate that all the work has been done very generously for us pro bono.’
At last night’s fundraising ball for the charity, wine writer Olly Smith, Tom Yusef (who was previously chair of The Benevolent), actor and star of The Wine Show Matthew Rhys, and Jancis Robinson were revealed as the founding patrons of The Drinks Trust.