The Benevolent Partners With Hospitality Ulster And The BEN

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The UK drinks industry comes together to help colleagues within the industry with mental health difficulties and to tackle the stigma around mental health.

With the common aim of safeguarding the wellbeing of members of the national drinks industry, The Benevolent, Hospitality Ulster and The Ben decided to join forces to provide the same support system to colleagues from the industry that are suffering from mental health difficulties.

The three organisations came to the agreement that from Wednesday 29th August colleagues from the Scottish and Northern Irish drinks industry will have access to The Benevolent’s counselling helpline available at 0800 9154610. The helpline was launched in 2017 by The Benevolent with the aim of providing immediate help to those in the industry seeking support with their mental health issues. This gives them access to the helpline which is 100% confidential, free of charge and manned by professional counsellors.

Chris Porter, CEO of The Benevolent explained: “The helpline is now a cornerstone of our welfare operations, providing immediate relief for those colleagues who need to talk to a trained counsellor, whether it’s just for the duration of one phone call or if it leads to a cycle of counselling sessions entirely funded by The Benevolent.”

As the stigma revolving around mental health is recognised to prevent and discourage members of the trade to disclose their difficulties, The Ben Scotland and Hospitality Ulster will also disseminate the award- winning campaign #NotAlone in their respective regions, with the aim of creating a stigma free environment for the national drinks industry. The campaign’s main objective is to encourage members of the trade to talk about mental health difficulties, reminding both employers and employees of the industry that help is available through a centralised support system provided by The Benevolent.

Chris Porter, CEO of The Benevolent said: “I’m very pleased and proud that this vital campaign is now truly nationwide with our friends and colleagues at the BEN and Hospitality Ulster. It’s the first time we have worked together on a project but if there is ever a cause and campaign that complements all our strategic goals then it is #NotAlone. Everyone working in the UK drinks industry now has access to professionally trained counsellors for an open a conversation that will help deliver support anywhere it is needed in the drinks industry community across the country”

Chris Gardner, CEO of The BEN Scotland commented: “This is a great opportunity for us to work with The Benevolent and Hospitality Ulster to benefit everyone, young and old, with a connection to the licensed trade, by giving immediate access to help with mental health issues, which are becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Together we can make a difference”.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster added: “With the combined reach of our three organisations, we can now provide support to every part of our industry and in every city, town and village in the UK. Mental health has long been a taboo subject, but not anymore and our message is very clear; you are #NotAlone. If you work or have previously worked in our industry, The Benevolent is here to help with free and confidential support.”

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