A new charitable cause has been launched to fund access to help for tourism and hospitality workers who may be struggling with their mental health, alcohol and substance issues or domestic abuse.
Mindful Serve was set up by Head of Hospitality and Tourism at Jersey Business and former JHA CEO, Simon Soar, who wanted to raise money to help colleagues working in the industry gain access to private support.
Simon commented: “A large part of working in this industry involves unsocial hours and that means you miss opportunities to process what you are going through via social interactions. Sometimes it leads to people ending up in a place they don’t want to be, and I hope this will give them options. The waiting time for publicly available services is longer than some people need. If you are at the point where you are speaking out, that is the point at which you need help.”
Mindful Serve aims to provide a place where colleagues in the industry can take the first step in reaching out and seeking help. Simon has been joined by Beverley Le Cuirot, the Founder of WellBeing World, who has access to a team of professional mental health practitioners.
Beverley said: “We are delighted to be able to help this valuable initiative and all the many individuals it will support. Well-being is an individual matter and having access to choose services is essential. Through our extensive range of practitioners, we will be able to provide a listening ear and choice of wellbeing support, in person, online or via an app if preferred. It will provide a 24/7 helpline in Jersey when needed.”
Life coach and alcohol-free blogger Sober Jo is also involved: “I am thrilled that awareness is being raised around people’s relationships with alcohol and that people will be offered support. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to hit rock bottom to want to stop drinking. There is a mindful drinking movement that is helping to remove the stigma attached to wanting to stop, and we need to shift the narrative around this subject to make a positive change.”
Fundraising has begun and Simon has signed up for the Around the Island Walk and has set up a JustGiving Page. He is hoping members of the hospitality industry will enter teams to take part in either the full distance or the relay.
Simon added: “This isn’t just young entry-level workers; this goes from the bottom to the very top. The challenges we face can get to everyone. All that we want to do is make sure those in our industry have opportunities to deal those challenges if they need them.
“We need to find out what those needs are and one of the ways we will be doing that is to invite colleagues to join our Coffee Club. If you are working away from home, particularly if you don’t know anyone, having the opportunity to sit down and have a coffee and a chat can be hugely beneficial.
“It’s simply about recognising that we have got to look out for our industry colleagues and friends.”