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New Benevolent chair Michael Saunders calls for ‘more regular donations’

Published:  14 January, 2019

Michael Saunders, chief executive officer of Bibendum PLB and new head of The Benevolent, has called on ‘more regular donations’ from members of the industry.

Saunders, who was announced as the charity’s new head in July taking over from Tom Yusef’s, made the plea in his first speech as chairman during The Vintners’ Company Annual Lunch in aid of The Benevolent last Friday.

Stressing the importance of consistent support for The Benevolent, he urged colleagues from the industry to become regular donors of the charity as part of his Chairman’s challenge.

“This year promises to be another important year for The Benevolent and I look forward to playing my part in supporting Chris and his team to both raise awareness of our work and the vital funds needed to enable us to provide the support that is in such demand,” he said.

His idea of ‘buying the equivalent of a drink for The Benevolent every month’ would be a consistent message and one that would resonate with the trade and an easy way for individuals to support, added Saunders.

Having been a long-standing supporter of The Benevolent, both personally and through the company, Saunders has pledged to use his expertise and extensive contacts to further raise the profile of The Benevolent within the UK drinks industry and to especially encourage an increase in financial support from the wider trade.

At the same time as Saunders new appointment was announced, The Benevolent revealed he would be joined as a new trustee by Troy Christensen, chief executive of Enotria & Coe and Tom King, former managing director of Europe for Treasury Wine Estates and now chief operating officer, Asia. 

The three new trustees joined as part of the charity’s plans to expand the reach of support to help more vulnerable members of the wider UK drinks industry, the charity said at the time.

Saunders succeeded Yusef this month and will hold the position until 2021, when he will be succeeded by Christensen.