Scottish business launches charity to help make life better through hospitality

02/06/2023
Steve Graham (Manorview)

AS PART of their ambition to make life better through hospitality, Scottish hospitality group Manorview have this week launched a new brand, and a new charity.

The independently owned hospitality group was established in 2007 and now operates 11 venues throughout Scotland. But to extend their services to those who can’t afford such experiences, and take their mission further, they have now also announced the launch of registered charity, the Manorview Foundation.

The business hosted their 500 strong team at an all-company event on Wednesday night at Glasgow’s iconic Old Fruitmarket. They unveiled their brand and set the team an ambitious mission to make life better through the actions and services they deliver while at work. The team then heard all about the new charity, which they’ll support through fundraising, donating, and volunteering. The event was hosted by presenter Jennifer Reoch, and guest speaker Alison Edgar MBE shared her inspiring story of hope with the team. 

The new charity, named Manorview Foundation, will harness the resources, skills, and connections of Manorview and their team to make life better for people who are impacted by poverty. And though it carries the Manorview name, it is a separate registered charity, which is being steered and managed by Glasgow charity director Robert McHarg. 

Robert, who has 20 years of third sector experience, and established children’s charity Achieve More Scotland in 2009, said:

“The charity’s mission is to use hospitality to make life better for people living in poverty. We’ll do this by providing meals, hosting events, and distributing goods and products. We’re aiming to be active in 40 of West Central Scotland’s most deprived areas by June 2026. And we’ve set an ambitious target to serve 100,000 meals to people experiencing poverty in 3 years.”

To deliver this work, the Manorview Foundation will have the full support of Manorview Hotels – being able to utilise the team, resources, connections and of course, their portfolio of properties. 

In October of this year, Manorview’s Coatbridge property, which is being used as a function hire space, will become a base to deliver services for people in the area who are impacted by poverty.

Robert commented “This October, we plan to open the space during the school holidays so that we can host kids and offer them meals and activities. We know school holidays can be especially tough for families in hardship, and it is difficult to afford day trips and activities to keep kids entertained too. Longer term, we plan to use the space for a community drop in, possible foodbank, and drop-off point for donations leading into winter and Christmas. The team at Manorview hotels will help deliver this activity through volunteering, and it’s amazing to have the resources and property available at Manorview to be able to do this.” 

Although the charity is new, the team at Manorview have been involved in such work for a while now. The team there have cooked and served meals to homeless people in Glasgow, have gathered and donated hundreds of gifts and goods to children and families, and have hosted Christmas parties with meals for underprivileged children who’d otherwise go without.

Steve Graham, the group’s Founder and Chief Executive said: “About 1/5th of Scotland’s people are living in relative poverty. And 1 in 4 children are affected, meaning they have limited or no access to life’s essentials like food, warm clothes, books and more – greatly disadvantaging them as they grow up. We have the people, resources, networks, and skills to make people’s lives better, so we absolutely must act. We know how to develop properties, operate venues, cook meals, host guests, and run events. And we know we could be using these skills to make a difference.”

Mr Graham and the extended team at Manorview feel this is a natural extension to their business and charity efforts. David Tracey, Managing Director at Manorview said “The hospitality sector has the ability to give comfort, happiness and joy to many customers, but the reality is that many people cannot afford even basic hot meals or warm bedding, which is deeply saddening. Our aim is that we can use everything we have to offer a helping hand to those who are experiencing hardship.” 

The charity is just one aspect of Manorview’s ambitions to have a positive impact on people’s lives. In autumn 2021, Manorview became Living Wage accredited and stopped using zero hours contracts (unless requested by the team). In January 2023, they shared £162,479 of profit with everyone who had been in the business for 12+ months and have committed to sharing 10% of net profits with their team every year. They are also working towards their goal of having 100 mental health first aiders in their team of 500 – having reached 60 to date. 

Because of this mission to make life better through hospitality, the group have unveiled a new bold look for the Manorview brand which they will be rolling out in the coming months. A huge contrast from their previous brand style, it has been developed with their goals, outlook, and attitude in mind, and will be used to represent everything they stand for across many communications.

Speaking of the rebrand, Head of Marketing Kirstin Watson said: “As an operator of boutique venues, all of which are different, it would be easy to let the Manorview brand take a back seat. However, we want people to know that we are more than the venues we have and the hospitality services we deliver. We’re a bold, optimistic, forward-thinking business who is determined to use our opportunities and successes to make a positive impact. We stand for something much bigger than what we do, and we wanted a bold brand that would help us represent this!”  The brand design was created by Glasgow creative agency Jam Hot – who Manorview chose not just for their talent, but similar mindset. “Like us, Jam Hot have shown to really care about the industry they are part of, so it was a great fit for such a critical project.” Commented Kirstin. 

You can follow Manorview’s endeavours and find out more about them, at manorviewhotels.co.uk

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