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Give and take at annual Vintners-hosted Drinks Trust event

Published:  15 January, 2024

The drinks trade burst back into life this week as over 150 illustrious guests gathered at Vintners’ Hall for a wine trade lunch on behalf of The Drinks Trust.

Opened by the Vintners’ Company’s master Anthony Fairbank, with addresses by The Drinks Trust’s chairman Guy Lawrence and chief executive Ross Carter, the annual event seeks to raise monies for the charity, which supports and assists those in need across many aspects of life in the drinks trade.

The Worshipful Company of Vintners was instrumental in creating the original Benevolent Society, forerunner of the 2019 rebrand as The Drinks Trust, and has supported the charity over many decades.

The occasion also flagged a new initiative by the Worshipful Company of Vintners, which is launching an invitation only event on 9 April designed to “introduce younger members of the trade in their 20s and 30s to network with their peers here at Vintners’ Hall”, said Fairbank.

For those interested, more details are available via who should be mailed with name, email address, position and company.

The aim is to provide an opportunity for mingling at Vintners’ Hall with longer established and older peers, both to help those younger members of the trade in their careers and also to give insight into the work of the Vintners itself. This follows the relatively recent establishment of a diversity committee, as the Vintners seeks to broaden its active trade membership, which currently stands at around a third of members.

The organisation, which traces its roots as one of London’s medieval Guild’s back to its first Royal Charter in 1363, plays a sometimes somewhat under-sung role as a supporter of social, charitable and educational interests, including support for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the Institute of Masters of Wine and The Drinks Trust.

Rising to address the guests at the lunch, The Drinks Trust’s Lawrence said: “I think 2023 will be categorised by one word - ‘challenging’,” adding that he had been doing some research to try to “contextualise how our charity operates within the drinks trade”.

Describing very challenging environments in both off and on-trade, he added: “…within that context The Drinks Trust has had unprecedented demand for our services in the last year”, looking after 5,000 people in 2023 and providing over £6,000 “purely for financial assistance”.

“It’s been a very difficult year and a lot of people are feeling that,” Lawrence remarked, saying that the Drinks Trust can help assist, develop and restore with regard to problems and issues experienced by members of the trade.

For more information about the support The Drinks Trust offers or to donate to its many causes, please click here.