Our Mentoring initiative has made significant progress in the first few months of 2021 with the launch of the first “Mentoring Pilot programme in the history of our Livery.  The VTEC (Vocational Training and Education Committee), led by Past Master Richard Watling researched the appetite for mentoring with our former sponsored students at WSET, IBD and ICBD.  The results highlighted a strong desire for mentoring in order to provide general career support, networking opportunities, and a range of help from start-up advice, to brand marketing, logistics and beyond.

We canvassed the Livery for prospective mentor volunteers and the first four mentees were matched with livery mentors this January.  All are now underway in “live” Mentoring relationships from locations right across the country, from London, the West Country, the Central Belt and the Scottish Lowlands.  Our first mentees report that they are just thrilled with the advice they have received so far and have made commitments to meet regularly, albeit only on-line for now.  Comments received; “Our first meeting was overwhelmingly positive. I genuinely could never have foreseen how helpful this pairing could be”. “So good to speak to someone who understands my needs, a brilliant match”.  Also “I just so appreciate the help. It has been a real inspiration for me”.

The Master commented: “Following the recent launch of the vocational training and education initiative, the Mentoring programme fits perfectly with our overall vision to be at the “Heart of the Spirits Industry”.  This reinforces our philanthropic and educational roots, making a difference to young people’s lives, especially the less advantaged. Giving back and helping in this difficult year makes me extraordinarily proud to lead the Distillers Livery. Thank you to all concerned”.

Further opportunities to Mentor will roll out over the next three years, with the programme accelerating this calendar year with close to 20 Mentees. We are particularly looking to find Mentors with a broad range of spirits industry knowledge and experience.

If you would like to volunteer to become a Mentor, please contact the Development Director, Clive Bairsto at   

Nick Carr
VTEC Communications Director