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We're The Ben... We care for the people of the drinks & hospitality industry.
Find out how you can help and support this cause.

Who we are


The BEN, under various guises, has been in operation since 1864.

The Scottish Wine and Spirit Merchants’ Benevolent Institution was founded in Glasgow in 1864 while the East of Scotland Licensed Trade Benevolent Institution was established in 1887, before the two organisations merged in 1976 to form the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland - now commonly known as The BEN.

Offering financial, social and emotional support, The BEN has a large board of trustees from every section of the Trade, who work throughout Scotland and volunteer their time to help raise funds, manage the charity and support the delivery of services for beneficiaries.

The trustees are supported by a team of 'Ambassadors' (mostly retired employees from the drinks & hospitality trade ) who play a central role in engaging with beneficiaries, offering caring and comforting companionship while ensuring needs are catered for.

The BEN supports people of all ages who have worked in the drinks & hospitality industry for at least three years full-time with beneficiaries receiving annual financial assistance as well as discretionary grants for emergency situations. 

Who We Are

As well as financial support, the charity also operates the picturesque BEN Pitlochry Estate on the banks of the River Tay, consisting of 18 bungalows which are rented at subsidised rates for eligible residents.

The BEN's day-to-day functions are overseen by Chief Executive, Chris Gardner, who provides administrative support for all beneficiaries, including management of visits and payments together with delivering the charity's calendar of events.

Although over 150 years old, The BEN’s Strategy is to continue expanding its support across Scotland and ensure its services remain as relevant as ever to the drinks & hospitality industry.

To speak with Chris about events, support or anything else,

please get in touch.