The Drinks Trust charity has provided more than £1.2 million (US$1.6m) to support industry workers affected by the pandemic this year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the drinks and hospitality sectors hard, with many workers facing financial and wellbeing hardship.
According to a survey by four UK trade groups, 72% of hospitality and pub businesses could close permanently in 2021.
New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) also found that 297,000 jobs were gone in the hospitality sector between February and November 2020, accounting for more than a third of UK job losses.
This year, UK-based charity The Drinks Trust gave support to nearly 5,000 beneficiaries through both wellness services and financial aid. Most of these individuals were directly affected by the pandemic.
The charity also approved more than 2,600 emergency grants worth £660,000 (US$900,000); and a further £85,000 (US$115,000) in other one-off applications for support.
The Drinks Trust has helped five times more individuals than it did in an average year over the last decade. Of those who were given emergency grants, 90% of receivers were under the age of 40, more than 80% had a front of house or bar role, and more than 400 grant recipients had at least one dependent.
Ross Carter, CEO of The Drinks Trust, said: “In what has been a year of turmoil for the industry we have received thousands of requests for support from colleagues in need. Many of these individuals have been left without incomes and facing significant wellbeing challenges.
“We are grateful to all the businesses, and to the industry workforce community, who have donated to The Drinks Trust. Without your support, we would not have been able to deliver these vital services. Demand for our support will continue through 2021, regardless of the arrival of the vaccines. The Drinks Trust will continue to provide the services and the opportunity to help our people recover and in time, to return to work.”
In the past few months, The Drinks Trust has received more than £2m (US$2.7m) in donations.
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Author: Nicola Carruthers