Caravan, the charity for the grocery industry, will be joining forces with confectionery trade organisation, Sweet Charity to provide a more effective service for workers who look to them for help and support.
Jenny Fryatt, communications executive at Caravan, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the news had been welcomed by firms. The merger would also provide more funds to add to the 4,500 people the charities currently help, she claimed.
Bigger and better
“It’s going to mean that we can now work together to create a bigger and better charity to help people who work in the food and drink industry,” she added.
“For the time being though it is business as usual, but the merger will certainly give us more funds to support more people. As the year progresses we will be working out what’s happening.
“Everyone in the industry has been extremely supportive and excited that we are going to be working together.”
The two charities have now begun the consultation progress that aims to combine their work. The process will run in parallel until the retirement of the Sweet Charity director general, Patrick Davis, who is expected to retire towards the end of the year.
Davis said: “Given the changes to our industry over the last few years, it makes perfect sense to combine our resources now in order to better support our beneficiaries.
“We know, however, from our research that this number will increase much further as we reach out to more people in need of all ages both in work or retired.”
The need for help had become far more complex and the support and advice very different over recent years, according to Davis.
All sides of the industry
He added: “We are confident that our supporters from all sides of the industry will agree that this is the right decision. As a single charity, we can more efficiently and more effectively support the growing number of people who look to us for help.”
The new charity will be headed up by current Caravan director general, Gillian Barker. She echoed Davis’s comments and urged supporters of the charities to be patient during the transitional period.
She said: “We ask our supporters to work with us during the forthcoming period of integration, in particular to get behind our popular events such as the Caravan Annual Luncheon and the Sweet Charity Candy Ball, plus the many national and local events which are vital to our continuing success.”
“Until the merger is complete, both charities will work together to better understand how they can make the most of their strengths and become the single, clear voice for those who either currently or did in the past, work for the grocery industry.”