2017 Volunteer award winners with certificates

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The UK’s pubs and breweries were honoured last night at the Licensed Trade Charity’s Annual Volunteer Awards Dinner, with a number of pub companies and breweries nominated for a special corporate award won by Mitchells & Butlers. The awards ceremony, which recognised and celebrated the many contributions to the charity’s valuable work in 2016, was held in Coventry.

The shortlist for the Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award also included Fullers, Shepherd Neame and Black Sheep Brewery, who have led the way in helping the charity reach out to those in need from the drinks trade. A growing number of pub companies and breweries have been promoting the work of the Licensed Trade Charity to increase awareness of its services and the level of assistance it provides, and have received a wide range of benefits for their employees in the process.

Mitchells & Butlers’ Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award rewarded the company’s support of the Licensed Trade Charity both in raising awareness and engaging their staff in the charity’s befriending programme. A company campaign to cascade information and awareness of the charity’s services included an initiative to recruit telephone befrienders to make regular calls to people in the trade that are lonely and isolated. This resulted in a number of enquiries and several Mitchells & Butlers employees now being trained to become telephone befrienders for the charity.

The Outstanding Corporate Contribution Award was received by Mitchells & Butlers Head of Employee Relations Caroline Davies, who was praised for her work as “a great ambassador for the Licensed Trade Charity who has worked hard to let all of the Mitchells & Butlers brands know what support the charity can provide”. This has included appearing in a video of HR directors explaining the benefits of supporting the charity and promoting volunteering opportunities within the charity to its employees to support its work to combat loneliness and isolation amongst former drinks trade workers. Mitchells & Butlers has also reached out to current and former workers to ensure that should they encounter problems with debt, housing, health and isolation, they are aware of the range of financial assistance, advice and counselling available from the Licensed Trade Charity.

Caroline Davies, who collected the award alongside Mitchells & Butlers Employee Relations Manager Billy Spong, said: “We are delighted to win the Licensed Trade Charity’s Outstanding Corporate Contribution award. The services offered by the charity are a great addition to our employee benefits, so promoting its work makes complete sense”.

Liz Gaffer from the Licensed Trade Charity added: “We are very pleased with the increasing engagement with organisations in the drinks trade. Their promotion of our free support services is a good thing for all involved, and I look forward to once again celebrating their invaluable contributions at next year’s ceremony”.

In 2016 the Licensed Trade Charity supported 288 families with a link to the drinks trade in a time of hardship, nearly 8,000 people made use of the information on its website and 664 people gained assistance via the charity’s helpline. Anyone working in pubs, bars or breweries calling the helpline will be entitled to six free counselling sessions for emotional support.

To find out how your brewery or pub company can work with the Licensed Trade Charity to make a difference to workers in the industry who need support, please contact Liz Gaffer, liz.gaffer@ltcharity.org.uk.