Industry unites to help rough sleepers

Industry unites to help rough sleepers

Volunteers from across the hospitality industry have been helping Only A Pavement Away (OAPA) distribute ‘Winter Warmth’ kits to rough sleepers across the UK.

Last week, the industry rallied together to provide 3,000 items of clothing and blankets and 18,000 tea bags across four cities, with OAPA estimating the value of its supporters’ contributions to be in the realm of £37,000.

The team of volunteers from various pub companies and restaurant groups gathered early on Wednesday 27 November to help OAPA CEO and founder Greg Mangham (pictured) pack the kits and hand them out to the homeless in London, Brighton, Birmingham and Norwich.

With an estimated 320,000 homeless people living in Britain, OAPA aims to have placed 800 homeless people in jobs in the hospitality industry by the end of 2021.

“Only A Pavement Away was founded to help get people off the streets and into work in the hospitality industry and, to date, we have managed to place one homeless person a week in work since we launched the charity,” says Mangham. “Our Winter Warmth campaign was designed to help raise awareness about OAPA, because with more financial donations and more hospitality companies signing up to employ those who are homeless, we can get more people into work. With bitterly cold temperatures predicted, it couldn’t have been timelier, and we met many people who were incredibly grateful for the donations.”