OAPA seeks to tackle both the hospitality sector’s demand for 1.3m employees over the next six years, caused by European migrant workers departing and general staff turnover creating new jobs, the rising number of rough sleepers (up 16% in 2016), and those returning from active service roles.
The charity has forged relationships with charities such as Crisis; the Chrysalis Foundation; the Corbett Foundation; and organisations that work with ex–offenders and former service personnel, including the Royal Forces Employment Agency.
OAPA is currently running trials with a number of pub and bar operators including Pub Love, Brewhouse & Kitchen and Young’s, offering a full training programme and support network underpinned by a 12-month post-engagement support package.
This ensures that the homeless and more vulnerable people involved with the charity have the best chance of success in their new roles within licensed hospitality.
The charity’s founder, industry consultant Greg Mangham, has spent more than 40 years working with organisations such as the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and Pub is the Hub.
He said: “Only A Pavement Away crystallised as a result of not accepting all homeless people are rough sleepers and that sometimes, through no fault of their own, people's paths have taken a wrong turn or detour from the norm.
“I wanted to do something to help and, having worked in licensed hospitality my whole career, there’s an opportunity to nurture a partnership between those charities who manage and assist the more vulnerable with an industry that is looking to fill a wealth of roles and opportunities with people from all walks of life.
“Through the support of many other passionate people in the sector, the project has been brought to life and now we are working to ensure our partnerships, processes and support package has the solid foundation from which to grow the charity.”
For more information, visit http://onlyapavementaway.co.uk/