This morning a virtual ‘thank you’ was shared between Southampton hotels and charity, FareShare. In February 2020 the Southampton & Region Hoteliers Association held their second Hospitality Awards night sponsored by Cab My Ride, recognising the hard work of those in the Southampton hospitality industry. The non-profit event raised and donated a fantastic £3,000 to FareShare, a charity which aims to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste in the UK.
This year the collaborative group of hotels, that consists of over 35 hotels and venues in the Southampton region, managed to top their donation of £2,500 which was raised and donated to Fareshare in 2019 after the inaugural Hospitality Awards.
No one could have predicted that shortly following the evening of celebrations in February that every single hotel involved would have to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a handful of them offering vital accommodation to key workers.
Despite facing their own battles, the group have ensured that the money raised from the Hotelier Awards was collated and delivered safely to Fareshare.
Richard Powell, Chair of the association and General Manager of New Place Hotel managed by Legacy Hotels and Resorts, said, “The pandemic has caused huge challenges for the hospitality industry, but donating the £3,000 raised at the Hospitality Awards was a great way for us to be able to support our local communities. We know that now more than ever, the work the charity does is essential for ensuring food reaches vulnerable people and we are proud to have been able to play a small part.”.
Claire Martin, Business Development Manager of FareShare Southern Central who received the donation on behalf of the charity said, “The situation that COVID-19 has forced us all in to is one that nobody could have foreseen. Because of this many schools have had to close, families have found themselves in strained financial situations, as parents have been put on furlough, had to claim benefits along with having to provide their children breakfast & lunch which usually they would be provided in school.
The generous donation from Southampton Hotelier Hospitality Awards has meant that we have been able to support schools in Southampton, who have remained open. The service they have been offering their parents has been very different from their usual service, as many have been supporting their families with food parcels. This donation of £3,000 has meant that we have been able to support these schools with 12,000 meals. What an amazing volume of meals and I personally can not thank them all enough.”
For now, hotels remain closed except for the few open to key workers, but all teams are working hard to put procedures in place that will allow them to open their doors in the near future.
Image: [Top Left] Richard Powell – Chair of the association and General Manager of New Place Hotel managed by Legacy Hotels and Resorts, [Top Right] Jo Andrews – MD of The Marketing Collective, [Bottom Left] Claire Martin – Business Development Manager of FareShare Southern Central, [Bottom Right] Shirley Wynne-Jones – Event Director of Destination Southampton Conference Bureau Limited