Only A Pavement Away x Play It Green: New Giving Partner

Only A Pavement Away - Our Latest Giving Partner

In our latest fantastic news, Play It Green is proud to welcome Only A Pavement Away as our newest giving partner. 

Now, all our members have the opportunity to regive 10% of their share of our revenue to this amazing hospitality-focused charity. Not only that, but as a giving partner, we will provide them with our education and Net Zero support.

Established in 2018, Only A Pavement Away (OAPA) connects forward-thinking employers in the hospitality industry with charities that support people facing homelessness and related challenges.

OAPA’s mission is to provide opportunities, particularly jobs, within the hospitality sector for individuals in need, thereby restoring hope and dignity to their lives.

We caught up with Greg Mangham, CEO at OAPA to find out more about this amazing charity and what the future holds for it.

Please, tell us a little about Only A Pavement Away

Only A Pavement Away’s purpose is to provide pathways out of homelessness and crime into purposeful employment within the hospitality industry.   Over the next six years, it is estimated that there will be around 1.3 million vacancies in the hospitality industry. At the same time, the number of people who are facing or are at risk of becoming homeless, is rising.

Outside of the moral benefits, the project is underpinned by a strong commercial and financial benefit to the hospitality industry whilst reducing the ever-increasing strain on government funding required for those who find themselves in such extreme and vulnerable circumstances.

Since launching in October 2018, we have laid a solid foundation to becoming recognised as the go-to charity for the employment of those facing homelessness, prison leavers and vulnerable veterans into careers within the hospitality industry and forging connections in some of the key major cities across the country. We have over 130 hospitality businesses signed up to the programme alongside 120 charities all of whom have work-ready candidates.

We have supported over 440 candidates back into work saving the local & central government an estimated c.£12million. We are now averaging between 3-4 Members a week getting a career opportunity. Average LOS is 38 weeks with over 50% of our Members staying with their employers for longer than a year. 4 Members have completed over 4 years, 20 over 3 years, 32 over 2 years & 35 over 1 year.  

Why is sustainability important to Only A Pavement Away?

It is important that Only A Pavement Away recognises issues important to both the world in general and the hospitality industry. As a fast-growing charity, we need to ensure that we keep pace with issues which are first and foremost important to our employment partners. Future training and induction programmes will include a section on ESG with an aim to include a section on ESG in our 2025 Impact Report. It is our responsibility to make our Members aware of what ESG is and the role they play in it by reintegrating back into society with greater knowledge of world affairs.

In the same way that all responsible organisations have programmes to demonstrate they are actively offsetting their carbon footprint, Only A Pavement Away felt it was time to create a new type of corporate social responsibility activity, focusing on how we can make an impact on society and in our communities.  

This social impact off-setting enables the hospitality industry to look at how they can make a societal/community-based contribution by looking at what actions can be taken that would ‘off-set the social impact’ of homelessness, prison leavers and vulnerable veterans becoming excluded from society through lack of employment, basic healthcare and accommodation. 

To substantiate its value to both local communities and the hospitality industry, Only A Pavement Away identifies the tangible benefits by calculating the costs incurred by the charity through the support given to those going through the programme versus the costs incurred by local and central government in supporting those facing homelessness and the costs incurred by hospitality industry employers seeking to recruit staff.  

Why did Only A Pavement Away decide to collaborate with Play It Green?

Many people & businesses talk rhetoric about ESG with little knowledge of what it actually is and how they can make a positive impact. As they say “Talk is cheap”. Whilst wanting to have an ESG agenda Only A Pavement Away recognised that we knew little about how to improve our carbon footprint & ESG impact.

And this is where Play it Green came in as we needed help and they seemed like the ideal partner to help & support us. Richard and the team had the knowledge of and enthusiasm for ESG that Only A Pavement Away wishes to aspire to.

What does the future hold for Only A Pavement Away?

Our vision 2024-2027.

  • We wish to operate in every major city across the UK by mid-2024.
  • Place 1000 Members into work by mid-2024. Total potential pool 50k or 12.5% (378k) of total homeless & prison leavers pa (2% of total potential Member pool).
  • Escalate to 2500 Members by the end of 2025 & 5000 by the end of 2026. (5% & 10% of total potential Member pool).
  • Database of 200+ active employers. (125 on board as of 2023)
  • Database of 150 active charities. (105 on board as of 2023)
  • Operate in all 100 hospitality-focused prisons.
  • Extend the prison Learning Kitchen project from 2 in 2022 to 15 by mid-2025.
  • Increase fundraising income to enable the deployment of a team of 21 by the end of 2024
  • Recognition as the default industry charity for the placement of anyone facing or at risk of homelessness, prison leavers and vulnerable veterans into careers in hospitality.
  • Continue to expand and develop campaigns & events to enhance brand awareness.
  • Set up a centralised training academy in preparation for employment.


Greg Mangham, CEO, Only A Pavement Away

“We are really excited to embark on the next phase of growth and to do it with Play it Green who share our values and ethos.”

Only A Pavement Away CEO, Greg Mangham
Only A Pavement Away CEO, Greg Mangham

Richard Dickson, Co-Founder, Play It Green

“I have real-life experience of Hospitality friends suffering from homelessness so being able to collaborate with Only A Pavement Away is brilliant. I love the work they do and it’s an honour to be able to support their important mission. Play It Green was set up to increase social impact as well as support sustainability. Now that we are operating within hospitality, it’s a chance to scale that positive impact both transparently and ethically.”

Play It Green Co Founder, Richard Dickson
Play It Green Co Founder, Richard Dickson

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

Ready to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level? Play It Green stands as your partner in creating positive environmental change. From educational resources on sustainable practices and signposting to sustainable services to initiatives like tree planting and social giving, Play It Green offers a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. 

Join us in the journey toward sustainability—embrace eco-conscious practices and be a force for positive change in our world. All whilst staying relevant, meeting legislation and aligning with the values of today’s consumers and employees.

Best of all, its free for hospitality to join us, simply add a removable £1 to your bills and we will look after the rest and we’ll regive 10% to a charity of your choice – one like Only A Pavement Away!

Want to find out more? Use the button below to download our hospitality initiative information.

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