How can we support hospitality workers this Christmas?
#CheckPlease Q&A with Hospitality Action’s Jeremy Gibson
Christmas. Considered by many to be the best time of the year, spent with loved ones, overindulging in festive foods and relaxing, but have you ever stopped to think if that’s the case for everyone?
It can be an incredibly busy time for those working over Christmas and although many enjoy working the festive period, it’s not always plain sailing. Despite having fun, there can often be stressful periods and many have to sacrifice spending time with their friends and family.
Bearing that in mind this Christmas, we are proud to be partnering with Hospitality Action to bring #CheckPlease – a campaign designed to act as a health barometer for the hospitality industry. The goal being to encourage both employers and consumers to spot early signs of stress, be kinder and check that those working in hospitality are okay.
Set to start from the 5th of December 2022, Hospitality Action will provide a helpline for the sector and support them with the physical and mental pressures Christmas can bring. In addition, toolkits have been assembled, tailored with the hospitality industry in mind.
To find out more about the campaign, we caught up with Hospitality Action’s Marketing Director, Jeremy Gibson.
What is your role at Hospitality Action?
“I’m responsible for our marketing and communications output. It’s my job to make sure people in the industry know we’re here for them and they can feel confident to pick up the phone. I’m also responsible for raising awareness of what we do to support our fundraising.”
What was it that made you want to be involved in the #CheckPlease campaign?
“Sometimes, the people who might need our help the most can be the hardest to reach. This campaign is a fresh chance for us raise our profile and reach more people in a wide variety of job roles. It provides more opportunities for somebody facing a crisis to see our message and get in touch for help.”
What’s it like for hospitality staff over the Christmas period?
“This Christmas will be a tough one. Many operators are facing reduced trading hours, partial closure or are even at risk of going under completely. For staff, uncertainty about your job, and ever-rising household bills can be ruinous to mental health. Working as many hours as possible while juggling family life over the festive period also adds to the pressure.”
How is the campaign offering support to the hospitality industry?
“The campaign is doing two important things. Firstly, it’s reminding the public that hospitality workers are people too, and that being nice costs nothing. Our UK hospitality scene is amazing, and customers rightly have high expectations when they’re out to enjoy themselves, but a bit of patience and an extra sprinkle of good cheer at this time of year goes a long way.
Secondly, it raises awareness of what Hospitality Action does, which is to provide support to people facing a financial or mental health crisis. Picking up the phone and admitting you’re struggling takes a vast amount of courage and anything that challenges taboos is welcome, especially now.”
What do we hope this campaign will achieve?
“Hospitality Action’s helpline is free to access and is open 24 hours a day every day of the year, Bidfood’s fantastic campaign will fund our service during the festive period and raise its profile at a time when tensions are high. We hope the campaign will also help normalise mental health conversations in the workplace. Money and mental health are two of the biggest taboos in our society and both are under pressure right now, anything we can do to give people an opportunity to raise issues that are making them feel anxious is good for our industry.
I also hope the campaign raises awareness of Hospitality Action’s Employee Assistance Programme to employers, which provides additional wraparound care to their entire workforce for a small fee.”
To find out more about #CheckPlease, check out our webpage here.