The hospitality industry stepped out on Sunday, October 8, for the annual Walk for Wellbeing walks across the United Kingdom. As it stands, World Mental Health Day, the event has raised over £88,000 for Hospitality Action, the sector’s largest supporting charity, with more coming in every hour!
On an unseasonably warm day, teams and individuals from some of the country’s top hospitality companies ran 20km routes in six cities across the UK to highlight mental health awareness in the sector and raise money for Hospitality Action. Z Hotels, Dakota Hotels and Placed App are just some of the companies that have signed up teams to facilitate the hosted events.
In London, hundreds of walkers completed eight laps of Battersea Park at an event organized by Mama, the hospitality talent partner whose founder and director Craig Prentice started Walk for Wellbeing four years ago after a difficult period in itself.
The Bath Hoteliers Association worked with The Bristol Hoteliers Association to devise a walk between two of the region’s flagship hotels, The Royal Cresent Hotel, Bath and Double Tree by Hilton, Bristol City Centre.
In the Midlands, the 12-mile route started and finished at Albert’s Schloss in central Birmingham, passing green spaces such as the scenic Edgbaston Reservoir. The walk, organized by Tonic Talent, also included parts of Digbeth, the city’s creative district and part of Birmingham’s historic canal network.
In Manchester, the Manchester Hoteliers Association’s 12 mile route took in two water parks, the River Mersey and parts of the Trans Pennine Trail.
Glasgow wasn’t so lucky with the weather, but many still braved the elements to walk 20km through Strathclyde Country Park with Davidson Asset Management as hosts.
In total, almost 900 people have registered for this year’s organized walks and Walk it Your Way walks, which are sponsored by caterer.com and Peoplebank. The event has already raised more than £85,000 and with money still pouring in, Walk for Wellbeing 2023 is expected to be the most successful in its four-year history.
Craig Prentice, founder of UK hospitality talent partner, Mother, and Walk for Wellbeing said: “The atmosphere at the walks is always incredible. They are a true coming together of a community and it is truly humbling to know not only how much money we raise along the way, but how that money provides vital help to people in our industry.
With mental health issues, the cost of living and fears of homelessness at an all-time high, Hospitality Action has helped more people than ever since the start of 2020, answering 26,809 helpline calls and 6,753 face-to-face and telephone consultations. More than half of those who contact the charity for support refer directly to mental health issues such as extreme stress, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness, with the vast majority also struggling with household debt, with many facing the threat of legal action or deportation.
Mark Lewis, CEO of Hospitality Action, said: “Walk for Wellbeing has become one of our most important and successful fundraisers, but just as crucial is the positive experience for every participant. There may be some sore feet at the end, but there are many more warm hearts!
The initiative is open to anyone to continue ‘Walk it Your Way’ and raise even more crucial funds until Sunday 15 October. For more information, please visit www.walkforwellbeing.org