2020 has been a tumultuous, taxing time for the hospitality industry with our passionate teams being furloughed, re-furloughed and with some of whom sadly losing their jobs. Nevertheless, it’s also highlighted just how much ‘hospitality’ means to the bmFamily💜💚, with altruism, generosity of spirit and time, and a commitment to charity shining clearly through and showing just what heroes they all are.
The word ‘hospitality’ comes from two Greek words. The first word means ‘love’ and the second word means ‘strangers’. It’s a word that means ‘love of strangers’. How apt it is then that the pandemic period has shown our team members to have such compassion and care, working with clients and charities to the benefit of our local communities.
What started with bartlett mitchell’s £10k Charity Project (to celebrate 20 years in the business) in February saw the team flip to supporting the NHS and key workers in Lockdown 1 in March – and from there it has blossomed. The Run for Fun, Great British Picnic and launch of Food Service Circle in the Summer, Sober October’s pledges, and the plethora of food bank deliveries this Winter has shown the hospitality of our teams and clients has gone from strength to strength. So many people have gone out of their way to do something for complete strangers; attitudes truly are contagious.
With our end of year blog, we’d like to recognise some of bartlett mitchell’s individual and team heroes of 2020, tho’ truly there are too many to list here:
- Passionate Gio C and Diana P (as well as James G, Joanna M, Stuart C and others) for their continued support, collections, deliveries, donation coordination and shameless plugs for our team to support Tooting Community Kitchen with food and sundries for the homeless and people with low income in Tooting and Clapham.
- Superstar George R from our Stratford team for his dedication in supporting Warming Up The Homeless Hastings and Hastings Voluntary Action weekly – and who gave up his Christmas Day to share out turkey, warm clothing, sleeping bags and presents.
- Michiel H and Milda B and their teams at two of our City law firms, who opened their kitchens to support soup production for The Felix Project and Food for All, as well as the heroes in the NHS, essential workers and other charities.
- Big shout out to Fabio D and Sam L and their Reading and Paddington teams for raising money for Children’s First Charity Days, as well as putting together copious NHS meal bags for The Royal Berkshire, Guy’s, St Thomas’ and St Mary’s hospitals and supporting The Felix Project packed lunches for vulnerable children in London – topping it off with two SUVs packed with goody bags for 150 families with children for Christmas.
- Diana P and the team for supporting a range of charities including the Trussell Trust Foodbank in Chadwell Heath and The Home Community Cafe/St Andrew’s Church for the homeless community in Putney.
- Angus B and Team AB gave up the booze and became Soberheroes for Sober October and raised a fantastic amount for Macmillan Cancer Support.
- Well done Bobby T from our Stratford team for your Salvation Army fundraising initiative, ensuring even more children had that special Christmas feeling.
- Emma K from our Aldgate team for baking up a storm and fundraising for November’s Poppy Appeal.
- Denise C and the Brentford team for raising money for Action for Children as well as your continued support for City Harvest – with thanks to Mark J, Ravish B, Pramudya C and Khan M for helping to sort out a December haul.
- Linda K, Galin E and the Kingswood team for coordinating deliveries to the Epsom and Ewell Foodbank, as well as your days spent leaflet-dropping for Princess Alice Hospice.
- Aldona P and the team of a City insurance provider for fundraising and delivering lunch packs to St Thomas’.
- Pete R, Phil L, Shanka and the GrubHub team for all the hard work coordinating NHS charity food bags and deliveries across London.
- Mark A for coordinating charity food donations from various clients to Compassion.
- Shout out to Julia S and our newest team, who have spent time supporting their client’s local charities including the Friendship Cafe in Gloucester.
- Sunil V for your coordination and chef skills to support the South Clapham Shelter Kitchen’s Christmas week; we know you go all out every Christmas for local causes.
Indeed, Wendy and Ian donated the money that would have been spent on Christmas cards for team members and ‘friends of BM’ to two charities our team really have worked hard to support this year: Tooting Community Kitchen and Warming Up The Homeless, Hastings.
This December saw our teams step up a gear with our #bmBeKind advent calendar. In this countdown to Christmas our team championed a daily new kindness ‘task’: donating to local charity food banks on Day 1; Day 13’s Bake Off Sunday challenge (to make something to share with a friend or neighbour); Day 19’s task to bring smiles to others; culminating in Day 25 where we asked our team to take a moment to find one thing to be grateful for.
Finally, big love to all the heroes in our bmFamily💜💚 for the time you’ve given to others this year – with copious cook-alongs, masterclasses, bake-offs and quizzes, newsletters written, videos filmed, jokes and motivational quotes shared, masks and NHS uniforms stitched, and all the baking and roasting and packing of cakes, breads, preserves, hampers, other foodie goodies. You are all heroes who inspire and are inspiring!