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Guest Blog: Hospitality Action’s response to Covid-19

Covid-19 support | 22 April 2020 | Jeremy Gibson

During the Covid-19 outbreak, we’ve implemented a number of projects to support the industry during an unprecedented time of existential crisis which put thousands of livelihoods at immediate risk.

The outpouring of support from the UK hospitality industry and its guests and customers was, and still is, truly heart-warming. We received many donations to our emergency appeal from both the general public and industry figures, and it now currently stands at a fantastic £350,000. It is already being deployed to applicants who find themselves facing a really tough time, whilst awaiting government support.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the support of so many UK businesses who are doing their bit to help the industry and our hospitality heroes at this difficult time. There are many ways to support, whether that’s through raising vital funds or donations, or for businesses like Bidfood, they’ve given customers the option to donate their Safari points to the appeal.

All funds raised will make a real and direct difference to UK hospitality workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what just one of our grant recipients had to say:

“Hospitality Action, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help. When I saw the email notification, I almost burst into tears with relief and gratitude. Knowing that I had that help coming was like a rock being removed from my shoulders. I had been facing spending the next few weeks with no food or household fuel after spending the last of my money on a rental payment. Now I will be able to keep myself fed and warm until hopefully the government subsidy kicks in, or workplaces open again.”

In the hospitality industry, our heroes throw their heart and soul into their jobs and they draw immense pride from providing care and joy to their guests and customers. Since the lockdown, this has all disappeared and we want to help support them through this difficult time. Here’s a snapshot of steps we’re taking to support our resilient industry:

  • We’re supporting Caterer.com with the Hospitality Redeployment Hub. This will help hospitality workers re-deploy into retail and other sectors, adding huge value to the national effort of keeping everyone fed and well at this time.
  • We’ve contacted over 1,600 industry retirees and vulnerable beneficiaries and connected them with local support services, where necessary.
  • The EAP remains open and all services remain available to all staff, regardless of whether they are furloughed or have had employment terminated. Our expert counsellors are ready to talk and help your staff deal with the range of concerns generated by the Covid-19 crisis. Services traditionally provided face-to-face, such as in-depth counselling, are being adapted for use via remote technologies such as online, video and telephone.
  • For non-EAP subscribing companies, we’re still here 24/7 to lend support at the end of the phone: 0808 802 0282.

We’re committed to supporting UK hospitality people during these uncertain times and we’re working hard to help the industry come back stronger, so we can all return to doing the things we love as quickly as possible.

The future may be uncertain, but one thing is clear; we’re here for you.

Please continue to support us in any way you can. We need you more than ever before. If you would like to donate, please visit: https://www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/donate/

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