Hospitality Health – the new charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of those in the tourism industry – has launched a Wellness Charter for the east of Scotland.
Backed by senior industry figures, an event at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh saw over 40 Edinburgh tourism businesses come together to hear about the support on offer from the charity and its partners.
Those attending included hoteliers from The Balmoral, Apex and Manorview groups, leading restaurants such as the Kitchin and Contini groups, and luxury accommodation providers Archerfield and Borthwick Castle.
Hospitality Health, founded by Gordon McIntyre, associate dean of hospitality and tourism at the City of Glasgow College, aims to address mental health awareness through a dedicated online portal and 24-hour manned helpline.
In partnership with Hospitality Action, the charity will provide specialist independent confidential advice, support and assistance. Hospitality Health is also working with HIT Scotland, Hospitality Action, Lifelink and The BEN.
Tackling the taboo of mental health, anxiety and addiction that continues to dominate the industry, the charity is asking anyone who works across hospitality in the east of Scotland – hotels, restaurants, bars and events – to back the Charter.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchen commented: “Gordon and his team at Hospitality Health are doing great things for the industry and helping address mental health in tourism. With the launch of their Wellness Charter in the east, they are helping business owners like myself with much-needed staff services and a toolkit.”
At independent restaurant group Contini, Emma Moore, head of HR, said: “We have three restaurants across Edinburgh with around 100 employees and when we first heard about Hospitality Health we thought this would be a helpful and beneficial charity for our workforce to gain support from.
“As a result, we have teamed up with Hospitality Action and are now launching an Employee Assistance Programme for all our employees to benefit from.”
Gordon McIntyre, chairman of Hospitality Health, said that understanding emotions is essential for employers and a powerful motivator for driving positive change.
“What we are trying to achieve with Hospitality Health is to equip our industry with the right tools and resilience training to not only address mental health but to put staff welfare first,” he explained.
“The more that we share experiences the better the industry will become, for now and the future.”
More information about the charity can be found at www.hospitalityhealth.org.uk
Image: Gordon McIntyre, left, with Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin