Hospitality Action

Description of Company

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.

We support people…

  • Suffering from life altering illnesses
  • Experiencing poverty, bereavement and domestic violence
  • Retired from the industry who may be isolated

The money we raise goes towards…

  • Grants for essential items including food, equipment and central heating
  • Supporting our often isolated and lonely retired hospitality workers
  • Running educational seminars advising catering students of the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse
0203 004 5500
62 Britton Street London EC1M 5UY


Employee Assistance Programme

Hear what Heston Blumenthal had to say about the EAP when it launched and why he immediately signed up all his businesses.

What is Hospitality Action’s Employee Assistance Programme?

Hospitality Action’s EAP is the only Employee Assistance Programme designed specifically to assist hospitality people by providing specialist, independent and confidential advice, support and assistance. Whatever the problem, we are here to help 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

No one is better placed to understand the challenges and needs of our industry and its people than Hospitality Action, founded in 1837, the charity has many years’ experience of doing just that.

For a full overview of the EAP programme, please click here. To find out more about how the EAP could support your people please contact Camilla Woods, or call Head Office on 0203 004 5500.

What services can be accessed through the Hospitality Action EAP?

The EAP service is a proactive, fully supported, totally confidential scheme that provides the following services for a very cost effective fee:

  • Advice and help sheets topics include: Health & Wellbeing; Working Life; and Financial Matters
  • Web chat and telephone help line, 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Managerial Adviceline
  • Managed Referrals
  • Personal counselling – both telephone and face-to-face counselling
  • Legal information and guidance
  • Financial planning and debt advice
  • Addiction support expert help with alcohol, drugs, gambling or other addiction issues
  • Hardship grants – where our criteria are met
  • Parenting Helpline – topics covered include: pregnancy and birth, single parenting, shared parenting, and teenage challenges
  • Elder Care – support and advice on caring for an older relative
  • Bespoke managerial reports, employee booklets, employer’s briefing document, posters and subscribers’ newsletter
  • Whistleblowing service – a confidential service giving employees the opportunity to report any work-related concerns to an independent third party
  • Mediation
  • Critical Incident and Trauma Support

For more information about EAP services click here

To find out why employees turn to the EAP for help click here

To find out EAP subscribers and what they say about the EAP click here

Alcohol & Drug Awareness Seminars

The seminars are offered by Hospitality Action, to educate the hospitality industry’s students, employees and management as to the dangers of alcohol dependency and other drug misuse.

The seminar is very effective in making students aware, in advance, of the risk factors which are traditionally a part of the hospitality industry long hours, pressure, and ready availability of alcohol and other substances. It also provides them with valuable information on the effects of alcohol and drugs, which helps them stay safer in their current life as students.?The seminar is not a finger-wagging anti-drinking diatribe, but raises awareness of the effects of alcohol and promotes a sensible approach to its use.

With drugs, the presenters inform the students of the mental and physical effects of certain illegal (and legal) highs, whilst leaving them in no doubt of the potential for real and serious harm. Advice is given on how to recognise the symptoms of excess and how to receive help and information personally or for friends and family.?Often, the presenters open up about their own experiences, and feedback to lecturers afterwards is almost always highly positive.

“I have seen first hand the benefits and effects it has on my students. Although never a part of my life, I have experienced chefs whose careers have faltered and failed simply because the problem was not addressed. The educational seminar on drugs and alcohol was absolutely brilliant, funny, informative and tragically sad in some places.”

Jamie Oliver

“Lives can and are being destroyed in our industry by the misuse of alcohol and drugs. Hospitality Action seminars are tackling this problem head on by making young people aware of the consequences.”

Heston Blumenthal

“The most thought provoking talk I’ve ever been to – it truly made an impact.”

Westminster College

Eligibility Criteria

Hospitality Action is the trade charity for the hospitality industry. We offer a range of services to past and present employees within the industry providing they have:

  • Worked within the direct provision of food, drink or accommodation away from home. Either the employee or the employer can have the industry connection. This means that either the applicant can have provided food, drink or accommodation directly, (e.g. they were a chef, bartender, hotel receptionist) or the company that they work/ed for does (e.g. worked for a catering company, bar, hotel)
  • Worked within the industry for either one continuous year in the past five; for seven years in their lifetime or be currently working within the industry
  • Worked within the UK and/or Northern Ireland
  • Limited savings

We can also consider help for dependants of industry employees, where the employee fits the above criteria.

Areas of Help

We try to help in as many areas as possible but there are some exclusions. At present we cannot help with any of the following:

  • Education related costs such as private school fees, fees for educational courses, student maintenance, and student loan repayment
  • Most private medical treatments
  • Residential Care fee shortfalls
  • Legal costs
  • Property repairs/adaptations where equity release is a viable option

Please note that we also cannot consider a grant for an item until all statutory sources of funding have been tried.

How We Can Help - Grants

Our grants are aimed at helping individuals (not organisations).

To apply for financial assistance applicants need to complete one of our application forms (or submit one from another recognised organisation – please contact us for more details). Click here to download our application form and guidance notesOnce completed the editable application form can be emailed to or posted to the address on the form. If you cannot complete the form this way contact us to have a pack sent out.

Most applications for financial assistance need to be supported by an independent third party who can confirm the applicant’s need and financial situation. See application guidance notes for more details on who can support different types of request.

We currently offer the following types of grant:

Essential Needs Grants

These grants are awarded for assistance towards the cost of an item or need considered essential for the well being or improving the quality of life of the applicant. Most requests can be considered (see Areas of Help section above for list of exclusions).

Crisis Grants

These grants are awarded to applicants of working age who have suffered a sudden loss of income due to bereavement, illness or injury. Awards are usually for a maximum of one year. The grant aims to assist with the general living costs of the applicant for a set time so that they have time to adjust to their new circumstances before returning to work.

Top-Up Grants

These grants are awarded to people who have spent most of their life within our industry and are now on a very limited income. The grant aims to assist with their general living costs to ensure that an adequate standard of living is achieved. All of our Top-Up grant recipients are also Golden Friends see Golden Friends section for more details.

Winter Fuel Grants

Our Winter Fuel grants are there to working age people who are concerned about their heating bills and how they’ll be able to afford to keep their homes warm through the colder weather. Our Winter Fuel Grants Programme is open to those currently working within the hospitality industry and earning a low wage.

Grants are for £100 and the scheme is open between November and March each year. If you need assistance before the scheme opens again then please complete our full grant application form which can be found at the top of the page.

Family Days Out

We can also give families a break from their everyday difficulties by providing a rare fun day out at a local attraction.

Outings take place across the UK and range from visits to safari parks and theme parks to trips to sea life centres and bowling alleys. During December we also offer festive treats to local pantomimes or ice skating.

Eligible families are selected from our existing grants recipients for each year.

HA Assistance Line – 0808 802 0282 open 24/7 365 days per year

Our Assistance Line is totally confidential and available 24/7 every day of the year. We can offer support and guidance across a wide range of topics including financial wellbeing, health and mental health, parenting and carer support.  With access to specialist support where appropriate.