The Benevolent has appointed Michael Saunders as its new chairman, following Tom Yusef’s successful two-year tenure.

Saunders has worked at Bibendum PLB since 1982, and is now the company’s chief executive. He has pledged to use his expertise and extensive contacts to further raise the profile of the drinks industry charity with a particular focus on encouraging an increase in financial support from the wider trade.

During his first speech as chairman, Saunders stressed the importance of consistent support for The Benevolent, and he urged colleagues to become regular donors of the charity as part of his chairman’s challenge. His idea of “buying the equivalent of a drink for The Benevolent every month” will be a consistent message.

Saunders’ two-year appointment as chairman was announced at The Vintners’ Company Annual Lunch in aid of The Benevolent, which took place at Vintners’ Hall on January 11, and was attended by more than 140 senior members of the drinks trade.   

Saunders said: “2019 promises to be another important year for The Benevolent and I look forward to playing my part in supporting Chris and his team to both raise awareness of our work and the vital funds needed to enable us to provide the support that is in such demand.”

Chris Porter, chief executive of The Benevolent, said: “What better way to start the year than for the trade to come together at this wonderful event to raise money for a growing number of people in need in our industry? The support given to The Benevolent from the Vintners’ Company, not just with this fabulous lunch, but throughout the year is just fantastic. I am so grateful for it and for the help and relief its proceeds will bring to many of our beneficiaries.”