Around £37,000 worth of contributions have been donated to a homeless charity supporting people getting jobs in the hospitality industry.
A team of volunteers from across the industry were out in force this week to help Only A Pavement Away (OAPA) distribute 'Winter Warmth' kits to rough sleepers across the UK. The industry rallied together to provide 3,000 items of clothing and blankets and 18,000 tea bags to be distributed across the four cities.
The team of volunteers, made up people from various pub companies and restaurant groups, gathered early on Wednesday to help OAPA CEO and founder Greg Mangham pack the kits and hand them out to the homeless in London, Brighton, Birmingham and Norwich.
The charity is aiming to have placed 800 homeless people in jobs in the hospitality industry by the end of 2021.
Greg said: "Only A Pavement Away was founded to help get people off the streets and into work in the hospitality industry and, to date, we have managed to place one homeless person a week in work since we launched the charity.
"Our Winter Warmth campaign was designed to help raise awareness about OAPA, because with more financial donations and more hospitality companies signing up to employ those who are homeless, we can get more people into work.
"With bitterly cold temperatures predicted from this weekend, it couldn't have been timelier, and we met many people who were incredibly grateful for the donations today.
"I have been absolutely overwhelmed by people's generosity. We set up various collection points across our target cities to accept blankets, coats and other items of clothing and we were completely inundated with donations.
"We also had hordes of people from across the hospitality industry give up their morning to help pack the goodies into special waterproof kit bags and hand them out to the homeless."
OAPA also used this initiative to drive awareness of the services it provides amongst homeless communities. The charity encouraged people to sign up to the scheme, that would see them given opportunities to finding jobs in the hospitality, pub and restaurant industry.