The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust: 30 Years of support and Year of the Gamekeeper

The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust team have a big year coming up, not only is 2022 their 30th anniversary, but they’re also finally able to put their plans for a special year into action. And everyone’s invited to the party!

In early 2020 the rural charity was launching their Year of the Gamekeeper campaign. Like all plans, those of the GWT were put on the back-burner while the team set about responding to the various needs that arose.

“Calls to our free Helpline went up by 100% in the first four months of 2020 compared to 2019” says Helen MJ Benson, GWT’s Chief Executive Officer. The GWT responded with additional support alongside their usual wide-ranging offer. Free online courses, regular contact with those isolating alone, and curriculum-linked Home School Help on social media were just some of the increased output from the small charity with a big heart.

As Covid restrictions ease, the GWT is inviting us all to participate in Year of the Gamekeeper during 2022, celebrating the work of all those in gamekeeping professions, and raising funds to support them. Fundraising clay shoots, quiz nights, BBQs and more are all in the planning by individuals up and down the country. 

They even have a GWT Quiz Night Pack they can provide you with if you’re stuck for a fundraising idea. And the team themselves are taking part. Helen will be embarking on Helen’s Way: a journey across the UK via 30 different forms of transport keepers have used over the years. You can follow her on Facebook at

“We’re looking forward to celebrating 30 years. We’ll be celebrating our amazing community across the UK and the countryside we’re custodians of, while doing things to mind the backs of those of us who are living with difficulties in their health, job or personal lives”. 

Notes for Editors

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

GWT was established in 1992 to support people in the gamekeeping professions and their dependants past and present. Assistance can be emotional support, counselling, employment guidance, housing help, and more. 

An overview of GWT’s work in support, finance, housing and employment with these professions, can be found at

Gamekeeping professions includes all those who are making, or have made, their living as gamekeepers, riverkeepers, deer stalkers, ghillies, gillies, boatmen, fishing guides. 

The GWT’s support is for all members of the family – not just the individual in the gamekeeping job or related to their work circumstances. 

GWT are looking to the whole gamekeeping community to find ways to join us in Year of the Gamekeeper and raise funds. A support pack is available by emailing


Ruth Kerr – Communications

Helen MJ Benson – Chief Executive 01677 470180

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