Edge Hotel School offers industry COVID-19 reassurance for students

  • Date

    Tue 7 Apr 20

Two students chatting over coffee

As the hospitality industry faces unprecedented challenges amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those working in the sector face immense uncertainty.

With all non-essential services closed during this ongoing lockdown, many employees within the hospitality sector are finding themselves in a truly difficult situation – with no certain work for the foreseeable future. Whilst many organisations are able to apply for government schemes to support staff or use existing cash reserves, there are some for whom this is not an option. Step in Hospitality Action.

Edge Hotel School invited Mark Lewis, Chief Executive of Hospitality Action, to an online webinar with current final year students to chat about the charity’s work and how members of the hospitality sector can support each other through this difficult time. Students were given the opportunity to chat to Mark and share their concerns about the sector moving forward.

The chat was also recorded and uploaded online so that any member of the Edge community, from alumni, students and current applicants could enjoy it and learn more about the important work Hospitality Action are doing, and have any of their own fears allayed by the information and guidance Mark shared.

Established in 1837, Hospitality Action has been supporting workers of the sector for nearly two centuries, from chefs and waiters to housekeepers and managers. There can be many challenges that limit one’s ability to work – from mental health or physical illness, family issues or financial difficulties – Hospitality Action is there to help.

In March, Hospitality Action launched their COVID-19 Emergency Appeal, asking the industry for renewed support in assisting those who are suddenly facing financial hardships. Supported by famous figures in the industry, from Ryan Giggs, Raymond Blanc and Tom Kerridge, the appeal has so far raised over £250,000 and this continue to rise. 

Andy Boer, Principal of the Edge Hotel School, understands the value of such a session. He said ‘Mark talked to students about how the charity has raised over £250,000 in its COVID-19 appeal, how the money is being used to provide support for members of the industry and how the students can support both the charity and the industry in the future.’

As the first and only hotel school in the UK with its own hotel, Edge Hotel School is acutely aware of the impacts of the UK-wide lockdown. Ensuring its students are well-prepared for the challenges the sector is experiencing and continuing to reassure them about the industry’s eventual recovery from the current downturn is of vital important. This webinar, and those planned for the future, can continue to do that and provide students with ongoing links to industry from the comfort of their own homes.