Welcome to the Summer edition of Stockpot, where life has changed out of all recognition since we last went to publication.
It’s important, to my mind, that as a Guild we are seen to be there for our members and non-members, and understanding the needs of our colleagues, which hopefully we have achieved with the help of the now ubiquitous Zoom technology.
The committee of management drew up objectives about how we were going to use this downtime in the most effective way possible, and I can share some details of projects we have been working on.
Firstly, we ensured all of our members were secure and safe and reached out in offering any support or help they may have required during these awful times.
One of the areas that was crucial, was contacting needy charities, of which there are plenty, and offering financial and physical support where possible. A lot of our members have lent support by producing meals for the NHS and much more, and a huge ‘thank you’ has to go out to all those who gave their unrelenting support.
We have also embraced charities Hospitality Action, Kelly’s Cause and Beyond Food but not just in a financial way, but as more of a long-term relationship, whereby the Guild will contribute on a regular basis.
We as a Guild have learnt so much during this crisis, about what can be achieved with the help of technology, but more importantly by listening to our members and non-members to find out what their expectations of us are in the short and long term. The list is endless.
We are currently focusing our efforts on sharing ideas about how our members can be creative in coming out the other side of this pandemic, and this has been achieved with a series of round-table discussions across many sectors of the industry to exchange creative solutions.
We are also aware of the potential loss of employment once this lockdown is over, so we have to be mindful of the potential mental health issues that will need supporting. Kelly’s Cause is a brilliant charity that focuses on these issues, and the Guild is supporting this association to provide its excellent training module for any businesses that require the service.
The other main disappointment is that the majority of the Craft Guild events have had to be cancelled, apart from the NCOTY & YNCOTY and the Graduate Awards. So, huge credit has to go to Steve Munkley and David Mulcahy, who have used technology to another level in ensuring these events will go ahead, albeit in a slightly different formats.
During this time the Guild has launched its new college accreditation scheme offering a Gold, Silver or Bronze accreditation. These will be judged by respected assessors and will help link colleges around the UK in promoting the Guild and attracting new young members to contribute and have a voice.
Finally, we are about to launch our new app, which will provide another modern platform to promote the Guild and, just as importantly, highlight the many aspects of the work we do.
In summary, we have used lockdown time in a creative and productive way, highlighting that the hospitality industry is very adaptable and with its ‘can do’ attitude will emerge victorious.
Best Wishes & Stay Safe