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Hendrick's Gin launches 'Grow Your Own Cuke' campaign for charity

Hendrick's Gin is encouraging drinks professionals to stretch their green fingers in a new fundraising challenge around its signature garnish - cucumber.

The Hendrick's Grow Your Own Cuke (GYOC) campaign will be raising funds for hospitality industry charity The Drinks Trust, which has provided support to thousands of industry workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Scottish gin brand is inviting more than 150 drinks professionals to accept its mission to grow cucumbers - and has pledged to donate £10 for every first sprout, £20 for every first flower, and £30 for every first cucumber grown.

It secured a £5,000 donation from parent company William Grant & Sons' Standfast Campaign to kickstart the fundraising.

The hospitality industry has been particularly badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In December 2020 the Office for National Statistics estimated that 41 per cent of hospitality businesses had temporarily ceased trading, compared to 13 per cent across all industries. Meanwhile, as of 31 October 2020 some 27 per cent of eligible hospitality jobs were furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, compared to just eight per cent across all industries.

As well as the brand's own donations, Hendrick's Gin's GYOC initiative will also give growers the opportunity to gather sponsorship money for their cucumbers through a Just Giving page. There will also be support for growers, from weekly weigh-ins to top growing tips.

It will culminate in a virtual Cucumber Cultivation Celebration, with awards given for the wonkiest cucumber and the cucumber with the most personality, among others.

Sarah Berardi, Hendrick's Gin brand ambassador, said: "It is surprisingly easy to grow your own cucumbers at home. I have been doing it for years, and not only do I have the most unusual gin and tonic garnish always ready at home, the plants are also particularly wonderful conversationalists.

"Furthermore, ‘getting your hands dirty’ is scientifically proven to reduce stress – so what’s not to love?"

Hendrick's Gin's master distiller, Lesley Gracie, recently inducted into the Gin Magazine Hall of Fame, added: "Hendrick’s Gin has always held the cucumber in the highest regard. Made with a number of unusual twists, Hendrick's Gin is infused with rose and cucumber essences.

"We wish to put our devotion for cucumbers towards a most noble cause. We invite all those with a curious mind to cultivate, embrace their unusual side and support us in our humble efforts to raise funds for our beloved friends in the trade."

Register on HENDRICKSGYOC to take part and receive your own Cucumber Cultivation Kit in the post. To donate, visit the Hendrick's Gin GYOC Just Giving page.

10 March 2021 - Bethany Whymark