Pub company and brewer Greene King has pledged a substantial donation to the Macmillan Cancer Support Emergency Grants Appeal.
The first £1m raised by Greene King in 2023 will go towards helping people living with cancer with day-to-day expenses so they are supported during the cost-of-living crisis.
The charity pledge is the latest drive to support people struggling financially during the cost-of-living crisis. Over the last few months, Greene King has provided its team members and customers with a series of enhanced support initiatives and offers.
During the winter months team members were offered a variety of benefits including:
- An increased team member discount up to 50% in all Greene King pubs throughout January and, in-pub team members were rewarded with free meals up to the value of £10.
- One of Greene King’s existing packages, the Team Member Support Fund, continues to play a vital part in supporting employees financially. Offering one-off grants of up to £5,000 for employees in most financial need, the scheme is managed independently by the Licensed Trade Charity on behalf of Greene King.
- To further help with financial strain, Greene King gave team members three free streams on Wagestream, a money management app where users can instantly access, track and save money in real-time.
For customers, Greene King invested in nationwide schemes across several owned brands to help customers combat the cost-of-living crisis, including:
- Hungry Horse collected 10,000 unwanted toys for 150 charities as part of its second annual Toy Boxing Day initiative
- To help reforge connections within local neighbourhoods, a selection of Greene King Local Pubs gave away free drinks to customers who brought a neighbour into their local pub – encouraging community spirit and togetherness
- Kids can eat for £1 when customers sign up to the Farmhouse Inns newsletter
Greene King recognises it can play an important role in helping Macmillan to be there for those living with cancer at such a difficult time. According to the cancer support charity, 83% of people living with cancer in the UK – almost 2.5 million people – experience some kind of financial impact from their diagnosis, and for those affected, this reaches an average of £891 a month[i].
Recent research by Macmillan also showed that cost pressures had led to at least 20,000 cancer patients (6%) delaying or cancelling travel to medical appointments related to their cancer diagnosis[ii].
The charity’s Emergency Grants Appeal provides those living with cancer practical financial assistance – helping them to pay necessary expenses such as fuel to get to hospital appointments, or support with food and heating bills to aid recovery after operations.
As a long-term charity partner to Macmillan since 2012, fundraising efforts are ongoing in Greene King’s 1,600 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK.
As well as collection tins in pubs and Pennies – the digital collection tin – its pubs take part in annual fundraising events throughout the year, as well as many team members from across the business taking on personal challenges, from skydives and running marathons to long distance cycle rides and mighty hikes.
Nick Mackenzie, CEO at Greene King, said, “The cost-of-living crisis is something that affects everyone in different ways, so it is vital that the support we offer to team members, customers and communities is as varied as possible, so people can find a scheme that’s right for their own personal situation.
“As a long-term partner to Macmillan we’re pleased to be pledging the first £1m of funds raised in 2023 to the Emergency Grants Appeal. The funds are just the latest in the cost-of-living crisis support we’re providing to both customers and team members throughout 2023 and beyond.”
Claire Rowney Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Innovation, at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are hearing day in day out that many people living with cancer are extremely worried about money because of the devastating financial pressures of both their diagnosis and the increasing cost of living.
“The Greene King pledge to donate £1m to the Macmillan Emergency Grants Appeal will make a practical difference to thousands of people living with cancer in the UK by providing them with a rapid payment to meet their immediate needs and release some of the intense pressure on their lives. People living with cancer need to live, not just survive and with the support of our wonderful partners like Greene King, we will continue to do all that we can to support those who need us during this challenging time.”