During London Cocktail Week, Edrington-Beam Suntory curated a welfare hub at Callooh Callay.
London Cocktail Week/Month was a wonderful affair. Of course it was all a bit different, and some of the usual events had to be shelved, but having an excuse to see industry friends, catch up with long lost faces and have fun out in the real world again was an absolute delight. There was also a whole raft of industry sessions and one of our absolute favourites was the Mental Health First Aid session.
The session was part of the Tending to the Tenders week-long pop-up organised by the lovely folk at Edrington-Beam Suntory working with Callooh Callay, and the support of the London Bartenders Association.
Throughout the week there were complimentary massages and free (and bloomin’ delicious) lunches for anyone in the trade in need of some self-care. There was also a Makers Mark bar upstairs in Jub Jub every night, but for us it was the sessions being hosted that caught our eye (partly because we hadn’t tried the food at that point, and massages freak us out), and in particular the Mental Health First Aid course stood out when looking at the schedule. Run by Kelly’s Cause the sessions were designed to give you the skills to look after yourself and the team around you.
More Important Than Ever
We have been lucky enough to experience many trainings on Mental Health in the recent times. I say lucky because it was only a few years ago this subject was entirely swept under the rug and not discussed in ‘polite circles’. There is still a long way to go but with people like Tobie-Anna Durk, founder of Kelly’s Cause and our host for the day, change is coming.
Much like Tim Etherington-Judge and Healthy Hospo, Tobie-Anna’s path to launching Kelly’s Cause came from a personal experience. In Tobie-Anna’s case it was the death of her friend, and fellow chef, Kelly, who took her own life at the age of 23 that inspired her to make a change in the world.
Kelly’s Cause is the UK’s leading Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainer in hospitality. The point of difference with these sessions is they not only give you the tools to pinpoint mental health issues in yourself and how to deal with them, but also what to look out for in your team as well as how to speak to and help people suffering. Kelly’s Cause aims to train 1 in 10 hospitality professionals which will ensure that hundreds of thousands of people in our industry are being looked after by people trained to help.
1 in 6 workers will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time (and those numbers were pre-covid so let’s assume they have got worse). So the chances are someone in your team at work is currently struggling at some level.
The session was workshop in style with both individual and group activities to keep you involved and interested. Time and again I found myself rethinking what I knew and questioning myself and my own ideas, which is exactly what is needed when it comes to this subject.
By the end of the session our group had opened up about themselves to each other which made the whole experience even more fulfilling and you could already see how useful the tools that Tobie-Anna had given us could be. The thought walking out that we were all in a better position to help other people was a great feeling.
Mental Health is one of the biggest issues facing our industry, one that has only been intensified by the shitshow that is 2020 and so it feels more important than ever to get yourself into a position to help not only yourself but those around you as well. This was a half day course but Kelly’s Cause has a variety of options available and I would suggest that every bar in the UK should have at least one member who has been through the training.
There was plenty more going on at Tending to the Tenders with the always fantastic Healthy Hospo there in force with Tim being joined by Kaitlin Wilkes Back to talk about SECS – Sleep, Eat, Connect, Sweat. The sessions were designed to help hospitality professionals develop the skills needed to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
The Healthy Hospo sessions are always superb and no doubt everyone who attended walked out with a whole new outlook on their life.
A big hats off to the Edrington-Beam Suntory team, especially Mike Redgewell and Terri Brotherston, for putting on such a thoughtful experience for the industry and to Callooh Callay and the LBA for their support.
If you want to find out more about Kelly’s Cause and their sessions, and we can’t recommend you do enough, then head to their website. Also if you haven’t already check out Healthy Hospo as their talks are also important when it comes to a healthy life in our industry and they have a new app coming very soon which we are excited to see.