The Drinks Trust presents the ground-breaking partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority to safeguard the wellbeing of night-time economy workers

The Drinks Trust and The West Midlands Combined Authority are pleased to present its new ground-breaking pilot wellbeing initiative, conceived for Nighttime Economy Workers and devised by The Drinks Trust, the UK drinks and hospitality industry charity.

The UK is facing an employee absenteeism crisis due to stress and mental health problems. According to a recent survey of 900 businesses by the Chartered Institute of Professional Development, employee absences are at a 10-year high, costing the UK economy over £18 billion in lost staff time. The survey highlighted stress as the reason for short-term absences in 76% of cases, poor mental health was cited for 63% of long-term absences, and 79% of UK employees reported some stress-related absence in 2023. Noting that 46% of UK workers also say they’ve worked in recent months despite not feeling physically or mentally well enough to perform their duties, CIPD emphasised the need for companies to focus on preventative health and wellbeing strategies.

The West Midlands Combined Authority was determined to tackle this issue in a proactive way and has decided to help local businesses in the nighttime economy by creating a comprehensive support package for them, in collaboration with The Drinks Trust, the charity dedicated to the drinks and hospitality industry. Together, they are trialing a ground-breaking wellbeing program focused on supporting these organisations to look after their team, ensuring workers’ wellbeing in the West Midlands.

Open to any business that operates in the nighttime economy, including bars, nightclubs and restaurants, the programme will consist of two main components: a series of Wellbeing champions courses and access to an exclusive wellbeing platform.

The Wellbeing Champion CPD (Continued Professional Development) accredited course has been designed exclusively for the drinks hospitality industry by leading experts ‘We are Wellbeing’ and is based on their award-winning Champions model. This unique course provides the Wellbeing Champions with the practical tools and knowledge to support their colleagues and ongoing development of wellbeing in the workplace, as well as equipping them with all the resources they could possibly need to execute a wellbeing strategy via an exclusive online platform.

The pilot will run three courses over the past few weeks, training just under 60 new Wellbeing Champions who work in the West Midlands Combined Authority region.

In addition to the practical training, operators in the West Midlands will also have access to a tailor-made platform that houses a huge library of resources, webinars, and a wellbeing calendar. The platform focuses on four key areas of health: physical, mental, social and financial, and supports the wellbeing champions who will help to shape the wellbeing strategy of their business, armed with a wealth of resources and expert advice.

This initiative has been conceived and deployed in partnership with The Drinks Trust. The Drinks Trust is the charity dedicated to the drinks and hospitality workforce. It strives to empower our industry people through services designed to assist financially, restore wellbeing and develop skills, and to do so with compassion and respect. In doing so, The Drinks Trust seeks to create an equitable industry where opportunities to thrive are open to all.

Ross Carter, CEO of The Drinks Trust, says: “”The Drinks Trust’s charitable purpose is to support the drinks sector workforce, from the point of production, to the point of sale. We advocate for, and provide services towards, enhancing the wellbeing of professionals within the industry. Our Business Assistance Programme recognises the correlation between the wellbeing of employees and the prosperity of organisations. This innovative wellbeing initiative, in collaboration with the West Midlands Combined Authority, aims to assist businesses in crafting their wellbeing strategies. The ultimate aim of this partnership is to fortify and safeguard the wellbeing of workers within the night-time economy sector, recognising their health, and its pivotal role in sustaining a thriving business environment.”

The West Midlands Combined Authority joins a network of existing industry companies that have signed up to The Drinks Trust’s Business Advisory Programme, such as Chapel Down, Claridge’s, Davy’s, MMD, Berkmann, Gusborne, Hatch Mansfield, Jeroboams and many others.

To gain access to the platform, please email Christian Sayer, Senior Officer Policy at

To find out more about The Drinks Trust’s Business Advisory Programme, please visit: