HOSPA CEO Jane Pendlebury reports on the work the organisation is doing in the hospitality community
Given that our membership is full of senior hoteliers and hospitality executives, it seems right that we consider some ‘giving back’ to the industry. At recent events we have made collections for the better known organisations (Hospitality Action and Springboard), but we also work alongside two others. I thought it useful to share some of the highlights of where we have offered HOSPA’s support.
Hospitality Action (HA) supports anyone involved in the industry who has fallen on hard times. This support can take the form of financial grants, advice and emotional support. Its Employee Assistance Programme is a great way for hoteliers to enable their staff with a route to specialist, independent and confidential advice, support and assistance. HA also runs seminars on topics around alcohol and drug awareness. I also have a soft spot for the organisation’s ‘Golden Friends’, which ensures that volunteers are around and about offering friendship over the phone or in person to those that have fewer people looking out for them as they get older. You can see much more about all these initiatives at www.hospitalityaction.org.uk
Springboard helps young people achieve their potential and nurtures unemployed people of any age into work within hospitality. Over the years I have heard many personal success stories of people who were heading towards a life of dependence on benefits (or worse), who are now gainfully employed and achieving remarkable success via Springboard’s support mechanism. HOSPA plays an active role on their Gems mentoring programme, which, given our membership, seems to be the most pro-active way we can help. If you take a look at Sprinboard.uk.net - there are many projects that may spark your interest, from Future Chef to INSPIRE work experience.
Our two more recent partnerships are with the lesser known Only A Pavement Away and Room to Reward.
Only A Pavement Away (OAPA) has created a powerful link between the better known national charities for the homeless, which includes ex-offenders/ex-service personnel, and the hospitality industry. There are many roles in hospitality that can be given to those people who are currently struggling, giving them the platform to allow them to get back on their feet through the stability that working brings. OAPA is doing its best to help bring people into full time, fulfilling roles in hospitality. Whilst staffing (and the dwindling availability of our European workers) is at the top of many people’s current concerns, this seems an ideal time to look elsewhere for talent. Please visit OnlyAPavementAway.org to see if you can get your business involved!
And, finally, Room to Reward is a heart-warming concept that rewards our hidden heroes with breaks in hotels. From hospice nurses to fire fighters and from children’s charities to community projects, those (often unsung) volunteers can be rewarded with a hotel break. As a hotelier, you can donate unsold rooms at times to suit your business, and not only know that you are providing the opportunity of a lifetime to an individual, but you can also nominate local charities to help create a story for press around the event. This has the double fold benefit of promoting the work of the charity, while also highlighting your hotel’s offering, thus gaining an additional bonus on top of the feel-good factor. You can read more at www.roomtoreward.org.
So, to end then; go on! It feels great to help these worthy groups, and if every HOSPA member did something; imagine the impact we could have!