June 2022, UK - Hotel group YOTEL is marking Pride month with a new cocktail and mocktail celebrating 50 years of Pride, and donating 100% of proceeds directly to the UK’s national LGBTQ+ helpline charity, Switchboard. Customers can also donate directly to Switchboard in hotel at YOTEL London City, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester Deansgate for the month of June, plus YOTEL has rolled out updated LGBTQ+ training to staff in the UK.
The ‘YOTEL Pride’ cocktail and mocktail are available in London City, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester Deansgate throughout the month of June, priced at £6 with 100% of proceeds directly benefiting Switchboard. A safe space founded in 1974, Switchboard answers on average 18,000 calls a year, with each call costing the charity around £17 for wrap-around support which means they can be there for each and every caller.
Providing support through phone, email and instant messaging for people who may feel isolated in their community, have an issue or question they want to discuss or are simply looking to talk to someone who shares their experience, Switchboard is the UK’s national helpline for the LGBTQ+ community. Guests in all four YOTELs can also directly donate to Switchboard via digital ‘Tip Jar’ QR codes located in each hotel’s bar and restaurant for Pride month. So guests can donate an amount of their own choosing to the charity, even if not purchasing a cocktail or mocktail!
Switchboard has provided support to millions of people since its inception, promising that all calls are confidential and no topic is off limits. A safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional well-being, Switchboard is a non-directive service, supporting people to make informed decisions for themselves. The charity can provide information, support and referral services for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. The helpline operates 10am-10pm daily, and can be reached by dialling 0300 330 0630 - find out more at www.switchboard.lgbt .
YOTEL’s celebratory Pride cocktail will be available from 7 June- 30 June whilst stocks last. The Pride cocktail contains a refreshing blend of Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger gin, Blue Curacao, Crème de Violette liqueur, lime juice and egg white, whilst YOTEL’s mocktail version contains Ceders non-alcoholic spirit, Orgeat and cherry syrup with lemon and cranberry juice.
As part of YOTEL’s commitment to Pride, the hotel brand has partnered with Polly Shute, Co-Founder of ‘Out and About’ a platform that connects LGBTQIA women and those who are non-binary through shared experiences. A former board member of Pride in London, Polly consulted with YOTEL to create the commemorative cocktail as well as leading LGBTQ+ training sessions for all YOTEL Crew across the UK. With training sessions specifically tailored to hospitality staff, Polly’s sessions for YOTEL include open discussions on how to be an ally, LGBTQ+ history and challenges in the workplace.
Stephanie Fuller, General Manager at Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline said, “We are delighted to be supported by YOTEL as part of its Pride campaign in 2022. Switchboard is the national LGBTQ+ helpline in the UK, and the visibility of our helpline that this partnership will bring across the UK is vital.
“Each year our dedicated team of listening volunteers hold over 18,000 conversations with people in need of support with conversations ranging from, but not limited to coming out, sexuality, gender identity, isolation, and mental health.
“Each call costs us around £17.00 for all the wrap-around support which means we can be there for a caller. The support and visibility this partnership will provide cannot be understated, ultimately it will mean our confidential non-judgemental service will continue to be there 10 am -10 pm, 365 days a year by phone, instant messaging and email to support people from the LGBTQ+ communities that need someone to listen.”
Polly Shute, Co-Founder of Out and About Festival, organiser of Southbank Surfing and YOTEL consultant said: “It’s great to see a brand as big as YOTEL pledge its support for the LGBTQ+ community with proceeds from the sale of the Pride cocktails this month. Through my work, I’m keenly aware of the discrimination and injustices our community continue to face, some of which do occur in the hospitality industry. It’s essential we educate people on how to be an ally, and I’ve enjoyed starting conversations with YOTEL about how brands can better interact with LGBTQ+ patrons and staff.”
Olivia Donnan, Vice President Brand & Communications at YOTEL HQ said, “We’re thrilled to partner with Switchboard and Polly Shute to celebrate and support Pride in our communities across the UK. At YOTEL, we strive to be an inclusive space for every guest, visitor and Crew member and are pleased to continue our ongoing work supporting the community through donations and training this June.”
James Stocker, Brand Manager for Whitley Neill said, “We’re delighted to support YOTEL during Pride month and hope guests across the UK enjoy this special cocktail. As Pride celebrates 50 years in the UK, we’re glad to be able to support the community in some small way.”