Blog. Banishing the winter blues with Cogent Blue.

October 17, 2019 | Author: Jeremy Gibson

The team at specialist consultancy Cogent Blue wanted to mark their tenth anniversary by giving something back to the industry that had helped them achieve such a fantastic milestone.

Their generous gift was enough to make a huge difference to hospitality families in need. In fact, they've donated enough to fund 100 family days out, which are one of the most valued forms of help we're able to provide. Scroll down to meet a family who have benefitted from some quality time together thanks to the generosity of companies like Cogent Blue.

We caught up with Managing Partner Shona Whitehead to find out what makes her and the Cogent Blue team tick.

Who are Cogent Blue, and what do you do?

Cogent Blue is a niche consultancy specialising in Commercial and Project Management for the hospitality and travel industry.

From independent hotels to global brands, in sectors ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts, our team help all sorts of hospitality businesses to identify and embed transformational change through their processes, their systems and their people. 

Describe your company culture

A flexible, transparent and trustworthy team.

Working openly with our clients to develop sustainable strategies and deliver them reliably has allowed us to build genuine, long-term partnerships. Clients often say that we look at their business as if it was our own.

A shared passion for the industry, alongside some serious experience, runs through every one of our team of Associates. Collectively we cover a broad range of skillsets which enables us to support specific challenges and provide a network to bounce ideas off or turn to for advice when working with such a variety of clients and projects; it keeps life interesting!

When did you first become aware of HA?

As part of our first CSR initiative we wanted to support a true hospitality charity and Hospitality Action was the one that everyone pointed to.

We liked the fact that we could become a Corporate Member with Hospitality Action and have the potential to grow our support as our business grew.

What prompted you to donate to HA?

Both myself and the wider team have been fortunate enough to enjoy a long career in hospitality and travel; One that has provided unique opportunities, life-long friendships and a great livelihood.

October 2019 marks Cogent Blue’s 10-year anniversary and I could not think of a better way to mark the occasion than by showing our appreciation for a charity that does so much for the industry.

Hospitality Action understands and encompasses the diversity of people who come together to make any business in our industry a success. This inclusive, 360o approach resonates with our own approach to solving business challenges.

Why do you think the hospitality industry needs a charity like HA?

Hospitality is a great industry that has given me amazing experiences personally and professionally. But it can also be hard, with an ever-changing range of pressures on businesses and their people.

Whatever your role within the industry at some point we may all need support. Hospitality Action provides that help in so many ways; through employee assistance programmes, grants for individuals in times of crisis and not forgetting industry retirees. I cannot think of a charity that better cares for the lifeblood of our industry.

Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference.

Ms S from Birmingham came to HA shortly after her breast cancer diagnosis while she was undergoing chemo therapy prior to surgery.

Unable to work during her treatment Ms S, her partner and two children were facing the prospect of losing their home while waiting for the outcome of a Universal Credit Application.

Our initial help was to provide an Essential Needs payment to keep the family together, in their home with food on the table. But the story doesn't end there.

No matter what your financial circumstances, cancer changes everything. But with financial hardship thrown in to the mix life was tough for Ms S.

We know that for a family in crisis, one of the first things to fall by the wayside is quality time together. Fun, laughter, hope can can be quickly replaced by anguish and fear. And the only family memories being made are ones of dread and worry.

Our family days out change that.

It's probably one of the most simple, but impactful support of all the schemes we offer creating a beacon of hope to guide people through the darkest of times.

We decided to treat Ms S, her partner and children to a family day out to take their minds off the troubles they were facing. So we sent them tickets to the West Midlands Safari park so they could, even if for just one day, be a normal family again.

A simple day out, on us, with transport costs and lunch for the family covered goes a long way to making happy memories and gearing the family up for whatever challenges come next.  

Ms S said - 

"We would like to thank you for gifting me and my family a day out at the West Midlands safari park we absolutely loved was nice to take the children out before my operation so thank you all so much xx"

Heartfelt thanks go to Cogent Blue. Their amazing gift could be making 100 happy-family memories for people who need a bit of hope in their lives.