A hospitality training provider is giving its staff one day a week off to support their community through the pandemic.

Over 100 HIT Training workers have so far signed up to deliver food and medical supplies, cook, clean and launder, walk pets and sometimes just provide a virtual friend, for people in need.

Staff are qualified care specialists who train thousands of social care learners and apprentices each year.

Managing director Jill Whittaker (pictured) said it feels “brilliant” to be supporting communities like this.

“We believe in doing the right thing, and this feels like the right thing at the moment.”

The scheme started this month and the provider is in the process of matching the volunteers with those who need support.

To start with, volunteers will be assigned to their home communities and clients, as well as HIT’s larger, national client base. HIT has over 450 staff, all of whom are DBS-checked, operating from 30 offices nationwide.

Each staff member is being given one day a week, workload permitting, to volunteer, and Whittaker said: “We’d like lots of people to engage.”

She added that staff have told her that, for many learners, they are often their apprentice’s only contact with the outside world, due to them being furloughed or being overwhelmed with work in the care sector or the NHS. The staff “are often finding they are providing a shoulder to lean on”.

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