Only A Pavement Away is a charity helping homeless, ex-offenders and vulnerable veterans into careers within the hospitality industry. As the industry has suffered horrifically in the past year the charity has needed more support than ever before to be able to help those into employment again and toward a better future.
Helping someone in crisis find employment in the hospitality industries has rich benefits. The type of work under this umbrella can allow an individual to grow a multitude of skills to continue their career within hospitality itself or elsewhere. This will give them the ability to learn desirable skills such as teamwork, time management, communication, problem-solving and customer service which are important attributes that future employers will look for.
Covid-19 saw more individuals needing support from the charity due to many losing their livelihoods and finding themselves in challenging situations because of the pandemic with unfortunate numbers coming from the hospitality industry itself. Led by top representatives in the industry, they have actively been campaigning throughout 2020 to raise awareness and support those who are in need during this difficult time.
Tom Aikens is a leading supported of the charity and has been a huge campaigner especially during the lockdown. Last year he teamed up with OAPA to host a cooking challenge which was a great success with over 200 participants each paying £5 to the Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign to take part. This helped raise £5000 to support the Member Pay Gap fund and help bridge the gap of the 20% deduction in pay experienced by those in the hospitality industry forced into the furlough scheme due to the covid-19 crisis. The challenge was to cook a meal in five minutes and share the video on social media using hashtags #FiveMinuteFeast and #HospitalityAgainstHomelessness. The videos can be watched via the OAPA youtube page found here.
As a result of the campaign success, Tom Aikens and OAPA will be releasing a brand new book '5 Minute Feasts' to raise further funds for the cause. The book will include 50 recipes from Tom, his professional chef friends including Adam Handling, Judy Joo and Tom Kerridge and members of the general public who participated in the five-minute challenge. The book will feature QR code links which take you directly to the video of the dish being put together as you follow the recipe. The recipes will range from Beans on Toast to Vegan Udon Noodles and are all super easy to follow.
Launching this Autumn, the book will be available in both hardback & on-line and is ready to pre-order today. The book would make an extremely useful addition to anyone's kitchen and would be a wonderful gift for friends, clients or as an inclusion in a goody bag at future conferences and events. The book costs £15 (or £12.50 for orders of 10+) and all proceeds will be donated to supporting the OAPA members with independent living and returning to work. The profits made from this particular campaign are set to help and support the employment of 250 vulnerable people.