Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal has been named as the new Principle Patron of the industry charity Hospitality Action.
The charity has also announced changes to its patrons with the appointment of three new top industry figures. They are Jason Atherton, chef-proprietor of Pollen Street Social, Nigel Haworth, chef-proprietor of Northcote Manor and Phil Hooper, corporate affairs director of Sodexo.
Blumenthal, of the three-starred Fat Duck restaurant and Michelin Pub of the Year Hinds Head, both in Bray, Oxfordshire, replaces Sir Rocco Forte.
"I'm honoured to be representing Hospitality Action," he said. "The work that it does in terms of raising awareness of key issues and providing vital support to those in our industry facing hardship through illness, bereavement, poverty or addiction, is invaluable.
"As a chef I know first hand how tough the long hours and aggressive working environment can be. In some cases, it can lead to some finding an escape in alcohol and drugs.
"Many have nowhere to turn and need mentoring and help, which is why the charity's work is so incredibly important."
Penny Moore, chief executive of Hospitality Action, added: "We are thrilled to have Heston as our new Principal Patron. His constant support of Hospitality Action and The Ark Foundation over the last few years has been second to none — his appointment will be a real asset.
"I would finally like to welcome our new trio of patrons; we are looking forward to very exciting times ahead."