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8th May 2024

Independent Complaints Panel appoints three new members

The alcohol industry’s Independent Complaints Panel (ICP) is delighted to announce the appointment of three new members, further strengthening and enhancing the Panel’s expertise and diversity.

Following a rigorous recruitment process which saw an unprecedented amount of applications received, Evans Omondi, Amanda Bridgewater, and Hayden Taylor have been appointed as new Panel members and will sit on their first Panel meeting on 9 May.

The Panel is chaired by Rachel Childs and new members are carefully recruited in order to represent a cross section of society with a balance of experience and expertise in key areas such as licensing, public health, children’s services and law.

The ICP is independent from the Portman Group and considers complaints brought forward on the naming, packaging, promotion and sponsorship of alcoholic drinks based on the Portman Group’s Codes of Practice. The Panel meet several times a year to consider these complaints and decide whether they are upheld or not upheld based on evidence.

To maintain the diversity of the Panel applications were particularly encouraged during this recruitment process from those with professional experience working with young people.

Evans Omondi is a Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) qualified youth worker with over 15 years’ experience working with young people. He currently manages a youth programme in central London which specialises in working with young people who have experienced youth violence, and has previous experience working in multiple youth centres and mentoring young people with learning difficulties.

Amanda Bridgewater has over 20 years’ experience in the education sector, working in various senior leadership roles in the secondary sector, most recently as Interim Principal of a large state-school in Bristol. She has held education consultancy roles across schools in both the urban and rural context as well as sitting at board level in the primary sector. She has also worked with vulnerable young people in the charity sector as a Trustee and volunteer for a number of UK, European and international charities.

Hayden Taylor is a young social entrepreneur and company director who founded social enterprise Unloc, a leading non-profit organisation which helps schools and colleges to empower young people across the UK with the leadership skills and platforms to drive change. Hayden has founded a number of successful campaigns focused on supporting young people to become policy influencers, innovators and entrepreneurs in the UK and Europe, and is a global youth ambassador for One Young World.

Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel (ICP), Rachel Childs, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome our new members to the Panel and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on their appointment, following what was a very competitive recruitment process with an exceptionally high standard of applicants. All three have demonstrated an impressive breadth of experience and understanding of young people which will be invaluable when applying the Codes of Practice. I very much look forward to working with them.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Portman Group was formed in 1989. It is the alcohol industry regulator and social responsibility body. It has over 160 Code signatories from producers, retailers and membership bodies.
  2. The Portman Group is funded by 20 member and associate member companies: Asahi UK Ltd, Aston Manor Cider, Bacardi, Beam Suntory, Brown-Forman, Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, Campari, C&C, Coca-Cola GB, Diageo GB, Edrington UK,  Heineken UK, Mark Anthony Brands International, Mast-Jäegermeister UK, Molson Coors Beverage Company, Pernod Ricard UK, Punch Pubs & Co, SHS Drinks, Thatchers, and Treasury Wine Estates.
  3. The Code of Practice for the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks was first published in 1996. In 2021, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Code. The Code seeks to ensure that alcohol is promoted in a socially responsible way, only to those aged 18 and over, and in a way that does not appeal particularly to those who are vulnerable. The Code has helped create an industry that works effectively within the context of a self-regulatory model, while encouraging design, innovation and creativity. This has been done in an effective, responsive and inexpensive way.
  • Effectively – over 170 products have been amended or removed from the market. Many hundreds more have been helped to adhere to the Code before appearing on shelves through the support of the Advisory Service;
  • Responsively – there have been five updates to the Code over 25 years responding to changes in public attitudes and expanding its reach; all without recourse to Government or Parliamentary time;
  • Inexpensively – the leading members of the industry are currently funding the model for all to be protected at no cost to the public purse.

Contact: Daisy Collingwood

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