After asking the public to Be Kind To Hospitality last year, the campaign group is this year urging hospitality and night-time business owners to support The Benevolent Society and to pledge £25 a month to become a Friend of The Ben.
The Ben supports people working across these industries, offering mental health support, grants and ongoing financial aid should hard times strike for any reason, and anything else they can do to assist with any personal situation.
The fundraising drive and the latest iteration of Be Kind To Hospitality will begin with a launch party at Radisson RED Sky Bar featuring Riverside Festival and Melting Pot. These iconic brands are close friends and partners of Radisson RED and were keen to get behind the campaign and help raise funds for the charity.
The event is on Sunday, June 5 and tickets are on sale now priced £10, with DJ line-up including Silicone Soul playing their first Glasgow show together in more than six years, as well as special guests. All income from tickets goes directly to The Ben.
Graham Chalmers of Radisson RED Glasgow, founder of #bekindtohospitality, said: “This is such an important cause and one we in the industry really need to get behind. We have all suffered in the last couple of years so helping offer support for those in greatest need is vital.
“The public responded hugely when we asked them to Be Kind To Hospitality – now it is time for businesses, owners and senior staff from within hospitality and associated industries to do the same, to help everyone across the trade. The people have helped us – now we help each other.
“Whether you’re a trainee glass collector, a dish washer, a cleaner, a nightclub cloakroom attendant, a DJ, a mixologist, a chef, a porter, a manager or even a business owner, The Ben exists to act as a safety net for you.
“Anyone who works in hospitality, leisure or night-time industries can contact them in their hour of need and ask for help and support – they look at each case on merit and offer not only one-off grants, but ongoing support as long as it is needed. Their mental health helpline and support are so essential in these stressful times, for all of us.
Chris Gardner of The Ben said: “The Ben is YOUR charity – funded by the trade and there to support the trade. We don’t receive public funding so, simply, if you don’t support us then we won’t exist.
“We are asking businesses who can afford it to sign up to pledge £25 a month, to allow us to keep supporting your staff, and indeed staff across the whole industry.
“We step in when you can’t – whether someone is off long-term, or your business is struggling, or there’s a global pandemic – we are there. When you can’t help or support your staff, we are there.
“And if you yourself need help – we are there. But now we need you. So please, help us help you. Become a Friend Of The Ben.. because we all need friends.”
Graeme Cheevers of Unalome, Scotland’s latest Michelin starred restaurant, was keen to join the Friends Of The Ben campaign as he wanted to provide back-up and support for workers in the industry across Scotland.
Graeme said: “My big reason to get involved is to give hospitality workers some support after all their hard work. They have stuck with the industry through the hardest times any of us can remember, so I feel it’s important we try to show our teams we care, by making sure there’s someone there to help if for any reason we can’t.
“People have been through a tough time so it’s nice now for employers to help, to give them that safety net and to let everyone know about the amazing work The Ben do already. Of course we hope none of our staff ever need to call on The Ben – but it’s good to know the help is there should something go wrong, whether that’s for mental health or anything else.”
Radisson RED’s Graham Chalmers was keen to stress the appeal is only aimed at those in a position to donate money, not businesses who are struggling already.
You’re eligible for help from The Ben if you have worked within the hospitality trade for a year, whether as a chambermaid in a hotel, a bouncer in a nightclub, anything in the licensed trade. And if your company signs up as a Friend of the Ben and finds they’re struggling to keep your job, they can approach The Ben for help.