The Ben Logo

The Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society

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 10 Directors, 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 Directors are supported by a team of ‘Visitors’ (mostly retired employees from the licensed 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 licensed trade for at least three years full-time with beneficiaries receiving annual financial assistance as well as discretionary grants for emergency situations. More information on the support we provide can be found on the Who we help page.

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. To speak with Chris about events, support or anything else, please get in touch.

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 licensed trade.

To know more about the BEN charity please visit