About Us. Our Impact.

On this page you’ll find out how we spent your donations in 2020.

2020 was a devastating year for the UK hospitality sector. Thousands of well-known and local independent businesses ceased trading and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost. Beyond the economic impact of the pandemic, its effect on mental wellbeing has also been profound.

Hospitality Action’s response.

We were one of the first grant-making charities in the UK to react to the pandemic, and quickly deployed a range of emergency measures including financial assistance, outreach and increased mental health service provision. As the situation evolves in 2021 we continue to adapt our offering and provide innovative, timely and practical ways to support the industry we serve.

In 2020 we spent £1.36m and awarded 4,698 grants, compared with £733k on 2,282 grants in 2019. This is an 86% increase on funds spent and the most the charity has ever spent in a calendar year, with a 106% increase in households supported.

We maintained and evolved delivery of our Employee Assistance Programme, which offers a comprehensive package of independent counselling, assistance and advice, enabling operators to invest in their teams’ wellbeing, morale and performance. Through 2020, approaching 150k employees were able to access the programme.

Our Helpline received over 6,000 calls in comparison to 500 the year prior. 

We placed additional focus on Golden Friends, our outreach scheme to keep loneliness and isolation at bay for industry retirees by recruiting additional volunteers so we could make more calls to ‘check-in’ on our retirees.

To further support the mental wellbeing of the industry, we also developed a free online advice hub with over 20 pages of resources and videos.

Impact Map

Grants Awarded

Reasons for Grants

2020 Income

Age Range

Poppy’s Story

A comfy bed, curtains at the window to shut out the night time, a feeling of safety and the chance to dream of a better tomorrow. These are all things we take for granted.

For Poppy, her mum and her little brother life was already tough, then the pandemic struck. Poppy’s family is one of the thousands we helped during the crisis with a modest grant to help cover the basics that we all need in life to feel safe and secure.


Employee Assistance Programme

Our EAP has given our 345 clients peace of mind that their employees (approaching 150k, combined) have had somewhere to turn to, during an extraordinary year of curfews, lockdowns and furloughing. In particular, it has supported those whose mental health has been affected by Covid-19. 

The programme also provides online counselling and access to expert legal, financial and family support.

Since lockdown commenced our Helplines have seen calls increase by 175% and visits to our Well Online Hub are at an all-time high.

Golden Friends

In 2020 we established a network of 250 volunteer telephone befrienders who placed over 3,700 calls to our Golden Friends and their partners (well over 2000 industry retirees) to offer moral and practical support. Where needed, we referred Golden Friends for further support from their local authority and/or local charities.