Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK and the country went into lockdown, the hospitality industry has seen unprecedented numbers of closures, resulting in the struggle of those who were employed within it, and in some cases seeing exhospitality workers fall into destitution.

Statistics show that at least 500 individuals have found themselves newly homeless due to not being able to pay rent and utilities, following redundancies and job losses for those who did not meet the criteria for furlough pay.

Hospitality industry charity, Only A Pavement Away (OAPA), was set up in 2018, by founder Greg nominate five friends. The charity has now turned its attention to helping those who have suffered most throughout the pandemic, through a number of food bank donation operations, fundraising campaigns and even celebrity partnerships.

The Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign was the largest to have been set up by the charity since its inception, and has exceeded the highest of expectations. Through a collaboration with celebrity chef Tom Aikens, the Tom Aikens Charity Cookery Challenge was born, in which those who took part must cook a meal in five minutes, donate £5 to the charity and nominate five friends. That challenge has now had in excess of 200 participants, with high profile names such as Judy Joo, Tom Kerridge, Paul Ainsworth and Jason Atherton, and sees the total number of donations rising daily.

In celebration of his incredible support for the charity, Tom Aikens was also announced as an official ambassador for Only A Pavement Away. This was marked along with his attendance confirmed for the charity’s Cook and Dine 2021 event, set to take place in January next year.

Following on from the success of the Charity Cookery Challenge, OAPA didn’t want to waste the fantastic recipes that were being shared across social media, so it was decided that a cookbook would be created; including recipes from both celebrity chefs and the general public alike. The cookbook, which is due to launch in November 2020, will be created in two formats, the first, a miniature booklet which will be distributed for free to members of the charity to give them access to quick, easy and affordable recipes, as well as a published hardback including up to 200 recipes with imagery.

The hardback cookbooks will retail at approximately £10-£12 and all proceeds from both the challenge and the cookbook will go to support both members and non-members of the charity in getting back into work.

The work that the charity does doesn’t stop there either, with the team already looking to the future of hospitality by launching its, first of its kind, jobs board and candidate profile page. The site, which launched on 21st July 2020, allows all charity employer partners to search through candidate profiles and shortlist them for interviews, before hiring through the charity, and giving someone the fresh start they need for their new life.

To find out more about Only A Pavement Away, register your interest as a volunteer, or make a donation, please visit