After another meeting with my charity match today, I thought I would share a bit around the charity I have been matched with and explain a little about what they do.
I have been matched with the Benevolent Trust, a charity for the drinks industry. In all honesty, I had never heard of the Benevolent before and had no idea what they did. I suspected it didn’t involve sitting around drinking alcohol and was interested in understanding exactly what they supported and more importantly, why there was even the need for a charity for the drinks industry.
Upon meeting Marina, who deals with communication, marketing and stakeholder engagement for The Benevolent, I found out that the charity aims to “improve the quality of living for members of the drinks community, who find themselves in a time of need”. I was surprised to find that, working with the drinks industry, they address serious social issues like homelessness, poverty, addiction and disability for those in the industry. They also provide emotional and financial support to people who need it.
The Benevolent will help anyone who has worked in “pubs, breweries, bars distilleries, off licenses and warehouses or in an office based role at a company producing, distributing or selling primarily alcohol” and offers many different types of support. In our first meeting, Marina mentioned an instance where someone who had a terminal illness needed support to get around his home as he could no longer use the stairs. He had previously worked in the industry and The Benevolent provided funding to remodel parts of his house to give him better access and make things a little easier for him at a time when getting around his own home should have been the last issue on his mind.
The Benevolent’s mission is to make sure that the industry (and associated partners) work towards helping current and former colleagues and their families. There are no age restrictions and no problem or challenge they won’t look to support and help with, financial or otherwise. Each case is looked at on an individual basis with tailored support given to address the specific help needed. Marina told me about an occasion whereby someone was struggling in the current economy and needed support to pay their electricity bills. The Benevolent stepped in to provide help while the individual got back on their feet.
Working for a large commercial organisation it can be easy to sometimes lose or forget the value of money given the often stronger budgets we have available to us. Working with Marina has given me a great understanding of the challenges and constraints you have to work to in an industry that is competing against many other similar organisations. Marina has done a fantastic job in a very short space of time with an extremely tight budget. I am looking forward to seeing the Benevolent’s new website when it launches in October for example, aimed at generating further support and funding for the charity whilst sharing the great work that is being done.
In return, I hope I have been able to give helpful advice and recommendations that are useful regardless of the difference in the organisations we both work for! I feel that the strength in the Benevolent Charity is its support to a fairly niche market in a very positive way and hope that some of the work we are doing will help to promote that further and to a wider audience to generate more donations and support.
If you fancy finding out more about the charity or ways in which you and your organisation can get involved, please visit www.thebenevolent.org.uk and remember to check back in roughly six weeks to see the fantastic new site!