Hospitality Action's chief executive Penny Moore, on the charity's bold new campaign

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th July 2015
Last week Hospitality Action revealed its latest hard hitting campaign. It took social media by storm, resonating with everyone in the hospitality industry. This isn’t the first time the charity has created such bold images and we spoke to chief executive Penny Moore about why the charity has decided to revisit the campaign from eight years ago and the reaction so far. 8MarcoPierreWhiteHospitality Action first created the black and white campaign with chefs Raymond Blanc, Marco Pierre White and Heston Blumenthal in 2007. The images were designed to show the chefs as they had never been seen before. “The original campaign was to say we are the industry charity, we’re here to help people and it could happen to anybody,” explained Penny. “It was really successful so, eight years on, we thought it was time to do something new and different but we wanted to build on those original chefs.

>>> See all the images from the new campaign here

“People recognise the well-known chefs and we wanted it to stop people and make them look at it.” She added: “Whether you are a kitchen porter or housekeeping you probably know who Tom Kerridge is. “People can relate to these chefs and they can look at Tom for example and realise that the charity exists to help them. The reaction has been even better than expected – our social media has gone through the roof!” Established in 1837 Hospitality Action, the Hospitality Industry Benevolent Organisation, has offered vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis. They are supported by some of UK’s top chefs and this year’s campaign features Tom Kerridge, Tom Aikens, Angela Hartnett, Ashley Palmer-Watts and principal patron of the charity, Heston Blumenthal. Renowned as leading chefs in the industry Penny says they were all eager to take part. “They are always really happy to help and no one has ever said no,” she said. “We wanted particularly to use Angela as we didn’t have a woman in the first campaign. Obviously we chose those chefs because they are the new faces of the industry and the aim is to raise awareness of the charity and what we do. The fact is we help everybody and we are always here.”Angela Hartnett

>>> Read more on Angela Hartnett

Conveying issues such as depression and addiction is no easy task in a head and shoulders only photograph. But the powerful images have struck a chord, the chefs themselves being shocked by the end product. “The makeup artist we use is amazing and I think the chefs took a step back and thought ‘oh my lord!’ But not one of them said they didn’t like it or didn’t want to do it.” There are nearly three million people working in the hospitality industry and the charity decided to highlight these five situations because they are all issues which they help people with on a daily basis. Penny said: “Unfortunately we do have people who’ve suffered domestic violence and we have to set them up again. Addiction is a big problem in the industry and we do a lot to help people with this. They are all issues we deal with so it was important they were highlighted. “Not everyone feels they can tell their employer if they have a drug problem or a drink problem. But they can come to us and we can help in a really positive way and it’s confidential.” For more information go to www.hospitalityaction.org.uk

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th July 2015

Hospitality Action's chief executive Penny Moore, on the charity's bold new campaign