Running the distance for Hospitality Action

A huge thank you to the Hospitality Action team who ran the British 10k in aid of our charity!

A big shout out to the 45 who took part! The individual runners Anna Berry from William Murray, Eleanor Green from Park Plaza London Riverbank, Brenda Collin from Preferred Hotels, Enrico Baranetto, Randon Johnson and our own David Kiltie, Hospitality Action’s Finance Manager. Also to the teams from The Protein Ball Co, The Zetter Hotel, Enterprise, South Place Hotel and the team from Firmdale, Charlotte Street Hotel. You are a true inspiration for crossing the finishing line of The Virgin Sport British 10k Presented by ASICS last Sunday the 15th July.


These guys not only completed the distance, but also did it in the scorching temperatures that London has been experiencing this summer. Their sweat willingly poured to raise funds for their colleagues in the industry who are less fortunate right now. In support of friends they know and other fellows who they don’t know throughout the UK. That is charity!
Thank you all for being our heroes a day, for being selfless and doing what you love whilst having fun with it and dedicating it to Hospitality Action, the charity we all belong to!


We are calling all mountain walkers, skydivers, thrill seekers, runners, cyclists, tough mudder lovers, toughman competitors and all fun lovers and teams with special talents to be our heroes for a day.

We want to hear from you if you are ready and willing to take a challenge in aid of HA. We are here to support you every step of the way and we can assure you that every penny you raise will go towards helping real people with difficult problems who need a little push to get their lives back on track.

After all, everyone deserves a good, happy and dignified life!

Please email Maria Carter

Do we all have charity in us?

We all have a different idea about what charity is, how we see ourselves getting involved and what we are prepared to do. Charity doesn’t always mean that you have to part with your hard earned cash. Charity also means awareness, consideration and compassion. Charity is a feeling that drives you to give, but ask nothing in return. With most people charity is that feeling of satisfaction, belonging, believe and honour. Charity involvement should be fun, it should inspire creative thinking, but can also sometimes mean hard work, physical training, sweat and pure exhaustion.

Have you found your charity and what are you prepared to do?

I joined the fundraising team at Hospitality Action last year in January. I found myself straight into the deep end, learning the job whilst running through my daily tasks and supporting an organisation celebrating its 180th Birthday year. I loved every moment of it right from the start and I still do. I believe that challenges are opportunities. Every single person we have helped gives me job satisfaction. Working for a charity, I am not in it for the money, but I am all about raising the money and raising awareness. For our beneficiaries financial help doesn’t just mean that the bills are getting paid, or they had a nice family day out or a nice afternoon tea with retired colleagues, because everyone deserves a dignified standard of life, needs a helping hand at times to boost their self-respect and confidence to empower them to continue their fight, survive and become independent again.

Everyone working in the hospitality industry should know who Hospitality Action is. If you do, spread the word, talk about us with your colleagues, look us up on our website, call us and have a chat. We are not a union, but after 181 years helping the people of our industry we have a very good idea about the kind of problems they face and more importantly, we have the solutions. We don’t just listen, we offer a plan, financial help, confidential professional advice, a get together, phone friends, HR support through our Employees Assistance Programme which is vast. We support employees and employers. We are all in it together and we have to make it work. After all, when you think about it, we spend most of our awake time working to pay for our living. We strive to find a balance and we believe in equality.


What really matters are the people we help, their real lives, their real problems and the difference we make. Working or retired, anywhere in the UK, any job within hospitality, we are here to offer support.

If you are reading this but don’t need support, then unite with us to make working in the hospitality industry a happy, safe and positive experience. Put a team together, run 10K, ride 40 miles, come up with your unique idea of team building activity, organise an event, donate an auction prize, join our EAP, make a cash donation, raise awareness, become a member, sign up for our newsletter, do something and have fun whilst raising money doing it, if you are a business nominate us as your charity of the year.

We have to raise the money to keep going as an organisation and fill the pot to pay out grants to those who need it and also pay for all the other services we offer. Our charity doesn’t receive government funding or many other grants. Last year we raised enough money to sustain and we spent £741,273 supporting the people in need from the industry we love.

Hospitality Action, our charity, has to make business sense to survive and continue to strive. So you see, it is a joint effort.

Take a moment, find the charity in you, what does charity mean to you and decide what are you prepared to do?

If you have charity in you we want to hear from you

If you are a supporter, we thank you, you make our work possible! We would love to hear from you why you choose to support us.

So what is an employee assistance programme, anyway – and why do you need one?

As well as its grants programme, Golden Friends scheme and range of other products, Hospitality Action runs an Employee Assistance Programme.

A what?

An employee assistance programme, or EAP for short. Not the snappiest title, but don’t let that fool you: our EAP is central to our commitment to helping people who work or have worked in hospitality and find themselves in difficulty or crisis.

HA’s EAP – I prefer to call it an employee care programme – provides employers with a means to increase their teams’ well-being, morale and performance.

It offers a comprehensive suite of benefits that takes a holistic approach to employee welfare, providing specialist, independent and confidential advice, support and assistance, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Personal and health issues can have a major impact on the way people work, resulting in reduced performance, lack of focus and absence. These, in turn, can lead to lost productivity and significant cost to employers.

Our care programme offers a raft of benefits, including personal counselling, legal guidance, addiction support, debt advice and a financial well-being service, parenting helpline, elderly care helpline and a whistle-blowing service – all for an annual cost of just £5 per employee.

In short, it’s about keeping hospitality people happy, healthy and work-ready.

Uniquely among EAP providers, should financial help be required by any recipients of EAP support, we’re able to point them towards HA’s grant-giving team, for consideration for further support.

For employers, subscribing to our EAP:

  • demonstrates a commitment to their team’s physical and mental wellbeing;
  • provides a tool for driving morale and therefore retention;
  • ensures employees are work-ready and undistracted by issues that prevent them from focussing fully on their jobs;
  • and enables them to support the wider work of their industry charity.

Here’s a blog I wrote recently, in which Sally Beck of the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, explained to me the reasons why she’s an EAP client. “Once you understand the EAP, you fall in love with it”, she told me.

In order to attract the people it requires to close its skills gap, UK hospitality needs to be able to offer jobseekers meaningful career opportunities, not just salaries. And that means operating against a professional landscape.

By providing a safety net to the market it serves, HA plays an intrinsic role in professionalising the hospitality industry – and our EAP is central to this.

Is the health and wellbeing of your team and the success of your business worth £5 per head per year? If so, give us a shout. We’d love to help you.

Social Sunday 18 – A Glorious Way to Support HA

Yesterday I was lucky enough to join our photographer, the talented Martin Edwards, and The Social Company’s Social Media & Marketing Executive Stephanie Mercer, as we visited each of Jason Atherton’s London restaurants that were taking part in Social Sunday 2018. This is the first time the initiative has gone beyond The Social Company with restaurants nationwide taking part to raise funds on our behalf. As Jason says, the day belongs to the industry and with chefs from Sat Bains and Niall Keating and Gary Usher hosting events in our honour Social Sunday has spread much further than we could have hoped. Our thanks to  OXBO Bankside for kicking off proceedings last Friday where chef Paul Bates was joined by England rugby legend Simon Shaw to cook up a three course storm.

My Social Sunday started bright and early at Sosharu in Farringdon, just a minute away from the Hospitality Action office. Chefs Alex Craciun, Edoardo Pellicano, Kazutoshi Endo, Oliver Marlow, Patrick Powell, Chase Chase Lovecky and Hannah Catley were in the middle of preparing their dazzling six course menu, including grilled lamb rump, courgettes and black garlic and razor clams, barbequed peas, hazelnut and mint. Spirits were high as the chefs tucked into a bacon buttie breakfast ahead of their busy service.

After a 20 minute cab ride our next stop was Social Wine & Tapas in Marylebone where Head Chef Marcus Rohlen and Executive Head Sommelier at Pollen Street Social Laure Patry were joined by guest chefs from Ceviche. Service was in full swing when we arrived with diner’s tucking in the mouthwatering fish, meats and perfectly matched wines, all in aid of HA!

It wasn’t long before we made our move to Social Eating House where Paul Ainsworth and Paul Hood were in fine form. The kitchen was buzzing with lucky guests seated at the chef’s table enjoying the view (and the heat!) generated from the hard working brigade. Not for the faint-hearted dishes on offer included pig’s head fritter and octopus. Needless to say both were delicious!

A ten minute walk away we joined the gang at Little Social, headed up by the talented Clare Smyth and Cary Doherty. Service was coming to a close when we arrived with happy guests tucking into the most amazing Eton Mess I’ve ever seen. After a few photos we left the chefs to celebrate their achievements.

With the fun drawing to a close our last stop was Pollen Street Social, just across the road from Little Social. HA Champion Jason Atherton was joined by Tom Aikens and Tom Sellers to cater for the sold out restaurant. The kitchen ran like clockwork and everyone was delighted when the chefs took the time to pop out and greet everyone making the occasion even more memorable.


Before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Martin who had one last Social Sunday engagement…a fabulous hog roast at The Beehive in White Waltham hosted by Dominic Chapman. A spot of cricket, live music and gorgeous food in the glorious sunshine. A fantastic end to the day!

Whilst Sunday 1st July may be over that doesn’t mean it’s too late to take part in Social Sunday 2018. Stem by Neo in Mayfair are hosting a Summer Party at the end of the month in our honour whilst The Fat Duck Group are amongst those who have added a discretionary £1 donation to diner’s bills all this week. If you’d like to take part too please give me a ring on: 020 3004 5504. And of course, our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has already participated in some way, shape or form. Put simply, without you we wouldn’t be able to help so many people in need.