It’s no secret that the Licensed trade, and professionals working throughout the industry in the UK, continue to face unprecedented challenges as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, staff shortages and the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a charity that has supported over 150,000 drinks professionals with emotional care, specialist advice or financial support over the last three years, analysis from the Licensed Trade Charity on the make up of calls to its 24/7 helpline and the support provided, offers invaluable insight into the scale of the problem for the industry and a clearer image of the issues people working across the drink sector are facing.

Calls are Up

For the year to date, the Licensed Trade Charity has recorded a significant increase in calls to its helpline, with the number of drink professionals seeking support from the LTC up by 58%.

This increase in calls to the helpline is, at least in part, a result of considered effort on the part of the LTC to grow awareness of the charity, and the services it provides, among the licensed trade. That being said, it is fair to assume that this astonishing rise in calls to the helpline, has also been prompted by an increase in the number of professionals across the drink industry, who are facing challenges they feel ill-equipped to resolve without external support.

Budgets not adding up

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Licensed Trade Charity recorded a marked rise in the percentage of people seeking mental wellbeing support, compared to other services. However, in 2023, the noticeable trend has been an increase in the people struggling with their finances, with the LTC noting a 76% rise in individuals the charity has assisted with financial support. In fact, the number of monetary grants across all services provided by the LTC, has seen a remarkable surge of 82%.

This increased demand for financial assistance suggests that economic challenges, such as job losses, financial instability resulting from the cost-of-living crisis, or industry-specific issues are being felt widely across the licensed trade, with lower earners in particular, struggling to make ends meet.

Healthcare a Clear Concern

The uptick in requests for mental wellbeing support has continued its upward trajectory, however, this has been met with a rise in physical wellbeing support as well, with the total number of grants provided for health-related purposes experiencing a staggering growth of 246%.

The picture this paints is of a heightened need for healthcare support within the licensed trade industry. Greater difficulty accessing NHS services could be a factor in this rise in the number of professionals seeking physical wellbeing support from the Licensed Trade Charity. The rise in grants awarded for mental health reasons indicates a growing recognition of the importance of mental well-being. Increased awareness of mental health issues, reduced stigma, and a greater willingness to seek help could have all contributeThe insights in this document are free to use, with the citation ‘Licensed Trade Charity, Industry insights from the LTC helpline, Aug 2023’