It’s hard to keep up with Greg Mangham. His brainchild, the charity, Only a Pavement Away has gone from strength to strength since being launched three years ago and in that time he has seen the UK hospitality industry come together to help and support the most vulnerable in society with work within the sector. The charity has been able to help individuals with financial support, warm clothing in winter months and practical help navigating the complex benefits system.
Covid Resource Hub
We spoke to Greg as he launched their Covid Resource Hub, a new support mechanism to provide help during the current pandemic. The CRH has been introduced and constructed to help hospitality workers, who have been directly impacted by Covid 19 navigate the resources available to them. The aim is for those facing hardship during the pandemic to access support and act as a possible preventative measure against long term unemployment and homelessness.
“As we saw thousands of hospitality workers being made redundant, we also saw organisations trying to help, but nobody was bringing that help all together in one place,” Greg explained. “Our ethos is to be a conduit, so why don’t we create this hub?” The CRH explains in simple terms how to access available benefits including access to universal credit and financial support from the Government. There’s also advice on how to prevent homelessness, rough sleeping, and eviction, help on Mental and physical health issues, career and CV advice and links to job sites and vacancies both within and outside of hospitality.
“We also decided to integrate Google Translate on the Hub,” Greg said. “I know from experience that trying to get into Universal Credit can be a minefield and if English isn’t your first language, it can be even harder.” The Hub also links to hospitality and non-hospitality jobs boards. “We looked at all the big suppliers outside hospitality, Amazon, Tesco, Asda, Co-Op, and included links to their recruiter websites, so you can go to our CRH site and it’s your one-stop shop.”
Winter Warmth Campaign
Upcoming for OAPA is their Winter Warmth campaign. Now in its second year and taking place this November, Winter Warmth sees volunteers from the hospitality industry handing out donated backpacks, flasks and winter clothing to rough sleepers in London, Brighton and Manchester.
“We’re looking for more good quality winter clothing, some hotels are donating toiletries,” Greg said. He’s also talking to a food supplier to provide military standard dried food to be handed out, which could prove to be a welcome addition to the package.
Greg has recently been introduced to the Whitechapel Mission which has seen an increase in homeless visitors from 200 to 600 a day, “We’ve just ordered 300 backpacks, specifically for Whitchapel,” Greg was pleased to say, and with further fundraising they will also be able to provide even more with handy water bottles.
Five Minute Meals
Coming soon form OAPA is the Five Minute Meals booklet featuring quick recipes which will go out OAPA members. “The idea started with Tom Aikens who got involved quite early on,” said Greg. “Tom demonstrated quick, easy meals which are fun to do. It caught on with people across the hospitality industry sending in their videos of them creating a five minute meal. With the generous help of Caterer.com, we picked a few of the best recipes and we’ve now turned it into a handy booklet.”
Watch the full interview with Greg Mangham
- Only a Pavement Away Covid Resource Hub
- Only a Pavement Away Winter Warmth Campaign
- Donate to Only a Pavement Away