Day 7 of 100 Days

Sarah Swaysland

Thursday, 7th January, 2021

Today, I was catching up with Karen from Only A Pavement Away which was really great. I like Karen a lot, and am really looking forward to one day meeting her. I'm also wondering what will eventually become of the hospitality industry once we recover from Covid, and how the effects will truly impact this wonderful industry and the people who populate it.

What: Marketing Catch-Up
Organisation: Only A Pavement Away

We had a catch-up on the #ServeOurSoup competition, and talked about how we think we should implement it into next winter's marketing calendar. We are now currently waiting for Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens to judge all the entries, so we can announce a winner next week... OAPA has huge plans for 2021, and it’s going to be quite an exciting year for them. We're having another meeting next Tuesday to talk about a huge project that is due to launch in March - Covid-pending, watch this space.

I cut my teeth in the hospitality industry and have spent my entire career in the sector. I feel good being involved with this charity because I still have a touch point within the industry I love, even though I feel like I’ve been naturally drifting away from the sector for a while. When it comes to hospitality, I just get what needs to be done in terms of providing a good service on the front line, and I guess that’s partly why I’m drawn to something like volunteering. The hospitality industry has been decimated by Covid and I don’t think we’ve even come close to seeing what the true impact will be because, even though hundreds of people are being made redundant every week, we don’t know what the lasting impact will be on people in lockdown in general.

The lasting effects of lockdown is something that I constantly think about when I'm volunteering with Shout, and I wonder how long the mental wounds will take to heal. Covid has touched the lives of everyone, and while some people will be more affected than others, I'm not sure anyone will come out of it without a few scars. Will people end up being afraid to go out at all, leaving us with empty bars where once they were teeming with people dancing an laughing? Will young people grow up not wanting to touch one another for fear of catching something? Or, once this is all over, will people just appreciate their freedom a bit more and re-enter bars and restaurants in full-force? It’s difficult to predict, but I do believe that by not being able to mix in a way that we are used to, those who are just coming of age are certainly going to be socialising in a different way.