Hospitality industry charity Only A Pavement Away, which supports the homeless, ex- offenders, and vulnerable veterans with jobs in hospitality, has committed funding to ensure its members don’t fall back into destitution, in light of growing concerns over COVID-19.
The charity is diverting existing cash and also seeking fresh funding from supporters to help any member workers forced to self-isolate in the wake of coronavirus – and therefore reliant on statutory sick pay of just £94.25 per week – or any that may face redundancy.
With members of Only A Pavement Away coming from vulnerable backgrounds, the move has been triggered by concerns that individuals could easily face fresh hardship, given a substantial drop in income. The charity has made the proactive decision, with immediate effect, to step in by using raised funds to compensate the difference in income and sick pay, and as a result, helping members through this unprecedented period.
The charity hopes that by providing support immediately, to as many people as possible at this early stage, fewer people will be forced to return to their old lives on the streets and/or in prison. This initiative also eases the public burden through a decrease in Universal Credit payments, and avoids loss of tax revenue through redundancies.
The campaign is already building momentum, with fresh funding pledged from recruitment and people specialist Caterer.com. The firm’s Kathy Dyball, Head of Marketing, said: “We’re here to help as much as we can – for me, this is non-negotiable.”
Only A Pavement Away is looking for support from society, associated organisations and philanthropists, calling on them to come forward and support its members in these times of uncertainty. Commenting on the initiative, founder of Only A Pavement Away, Greg Mangham, said: “In light of the present situation, it will be almost inevitable that one of our members will have to self-isolate and may only receive a very small amount of sick pay. Or they may be at a venue forced to shut. This could well act as the catalyst that pushes them back into destitution, the streets, and/or crime.
“With immediate effect, Only A Pavement Away will make up the shortfall in earnings between the statutory sick pay and our member’s average weekly earnings. We are ensuring that our members don’t lose the stability they have gained through the opportunities given to them by the hospitality industry employers who we are partnered with. Only A Pavement Away needs to act both in a proactive and preventative manner whilst supporting those employers who have always supported us”
The hospitality industry has seen a significant drop in visits and spend to bars, restaurants and hotels as a result of the spread of COVID-19, which has seen some individuals self-isolate. There are also job loss fears with the Government advising that people avoid pubs, restaurants and other outlets.
Added Mangham: “We’re very mindful that the current turmoil could spark significant job losses and we’re determined to support any members facing this. We need to keep people in work, and we urge anyone who can, where possible, to support this effort and to donate be it large or small, to help those in our communities. We’re looking at this with the focus on the people and the communities that hospitality serves. This is yet another opportunity for charity and hospitality to come together – let’s take it.”
For more information on the initiative, or to pledge funding, please contact Greg Mangham at email@example.com
We spoke with Greg Mangham following receiving this news and wholeheartedly support the work he and others are doing to help people in jeopardy right now.