Blog. A message from our CEO. Get involved in 2024.
January 15, 2024 | Author: Mark Lewis
People often ask me how Hospitality Action is faring when I’m out in the industry.
My answer’s always the same.
“Oh, pushing on, making money and spending money,” I’ll say, a touch glibly.
It sounds simple when you put it like that: a kind of sausage machine sucking in funds and churning out grants.
Of course, life’s never that straightforward.
My heroic team’s challenge is Sisyphean. However much our fundraisers bring in, it’s never enough. And however many requests for support our services team answer, there are many more waiting to be dealt with.
In July, our beautiful charity, which was founded in 1837, experienced a record number of grant applications. That’s the most demand for support in a single month, in 186 years.
I’ll pause and let that sink in.
The Pandemic may seem like a bad dream to much of the population. But for many of the people we help, it remains front and centre in their lives. Debt accrued during Lockdowns has left countless households in financial tailspins they can’t pull themselves out of. And this, along with the loneliness, bereavements, domestic abuse flashpoints, burgeoning gambling habits and general anxiety experienced since 2020, has sparked a mental health epidemic across the sector we serve.
Some six out of every ten people who approach us for financial support also present mental health challenges.
Meanwhile, physical ill health continues to take its inevitable toll on the hospitality workforce.
Make no mistake, need and distress are all around you.
If you work in an outfit of any size, you’re sure to have colleagues who lie awake at night worrying how they’ll feed their kids next week, mates who skate on the edge of eviction and homelessness, people on the brink of despair or processing a life-changing diagnosis.
It’s ‘six degrees of separation’ stuff: you’re bound to know someone who knows someone who’s struggling financially or mentally. And the same stands for recipients of HA’s support. I guarantee you, somebody or some bodies in your professional network have been touched by us in the past four years.
The people we help look like you, they do what you do, they work where you work.
And that means you’ve got skin in the game.
If you value the safety net we provide, it would be great if you could support our efforts to catch those who fall.
That may mean getting involved in some of our many and varied fundraising activities; or it could mean finding your own way to make a difference.
Attached to this blog post is a schedule of all the activities we’ve already scheduled for 2024.
Take a look, see what you fancy, give us a call, get involved.
Who knows? One day, it could be you who needs our support.