2 UK charities that are helping those in aviation and hospitality survive the COVID-19 crisis

Dec 31, 2020

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Since the end of March 2020, the aviation and hospitality industries have faced their biggest-ever challenge. Flights were nearly entirely grounded but have resumed slightly in recent months with limited passenger numbers. Hotel occupancy rates are down. Restaurants, bars and pubs are all suffering from ever-changing regulations and low customer numbers. And besides affecting the general travelling, dining and drinking public, millions of jobs are also on the line.

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Although this paints a doom and gloom picture, there are some bright spots in this pandemic world where people are working hard to help those in need. Plus, there’s hope in the rollout of a vaccine. When it comes to the travel and hospitality sector,  there are two U.K. charities, in particular, working to help: Aviation Action and Hospitality Action.

Aviation Action

Aviation Action, founded during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a charity designed to help those in aviation affected with job loss, mental health issues and to offer general support. Its founder is Chris Wild, head of airfield operations at Manchester Airport, and he is supported by a team of regular and part-time volunteers.

“At a time when the industry needs significant support, I felt that there was a lack of specific support available for the hundreds of thousands of people who work in aviation,” Wild said. “I set up the charity to help people who specifically work in aviation when they most needed it.”

(Image courtesy of Aviation Action)

When offering professional support, Aviation Action has a great team of volunteer therapists and councillors that offer individuals in need up to three sessions for free. Once a recipient has sent through their details, the charity will match them up with one of its professionals who will get them set up with their first confidential appointment.

Aviation Action has a vast network of peer supporters — 80 of them, in fact — which have all met the strict criteria set for the charity. Peer support offers those in need the chance to speak openly and honestly to someone who truly understands and can help with personal and professional life.

Further, the charity offers free online sessions on topics ranging from dealing with stress to CV writing skills, career advice for young professionals and more.

Since its founding just this past spring, Aviation Action has helped more than 500 people through its range of services and raised more than £7,000 in industry and individual support. Going from strength to strength, the charity has recently launched its first national fundraising campaign: Run the Runways. We encourage you to get involved!

Consider helping out with the organisation this Christmas holiday season. Click here to get involved with Aviation Action!

Hospitality Action

Hospitality Action is a charity that was established in the mid-1800s to help and assist those who work — or have worked — in the hospitality industry. From waiters to chefs, housekeepers, hotel managers and beyond, Hospitality Action aims to offer advice and support for whenever times get tough.

Hospitality Action‘s story began in London as the “London Coffee and Eating House Keepers Association,” with the aim to support the some 1,900 independent coffee shops — and those working in them — spread across the capital. In the decades that followed, the charity grew with the industry, offering support to those in the hotel industry and opening outpost branches in Manchester and Liverpool. In 2017, the charity celebrated its 180th anniversary.

In 2018, Hospitality Action spent £902,305 supporting 4,330 people in need, according to its website.

(Image courtesy of Hospitality Action)

As you can expect, the number of people in need has only gone up because of the pandemic. Currently, to help with COVID 19, the charity offers grants to those affected, as well as a plethora of mental health resources from anxiety to family, relationships, suicide awareness and addiction.

Hospitality Action recently launched an online support hub for people in the industry.

“The hub offers easy-to-access content on everything from CV writing and career webinars to redundancy advice, financial support and health and wellbeing resources,” the organisation says. “Digital training modules will keep those out of work up to date on essential skills, from customer service and food safety to confidence and assertiveness.”

And support from Hospitality Action does not end when a person’s career does. Hospitality Action offers the “Golden Friends” area of support, which offers connection and assistance to industry retirees.

As you can expect, the organisation needs help to continue supporting those who need it most. Click here to get involved with Hospitality Action!

Want to help?

As COVID continues to ravage these two industries, it’s quite possible you or someone know could use a hand. Or maybe you have skills or services to offer? Either way, reach out. Both Aviation Action and Hospitality Action are looking for people to get involved.

Featured photo courtesy of Aviation Action.

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