Hospitality students at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form have welcomed Andrew Brownrigg from Hospitality Action’s “Ark Foundation” to the campus, to learn about the many rewards and possibly downfalls of working in this challenging industry.

The College understands that the hospitality industry involves a life of creativity and excitement – but is also a high pressurised and demanding environment. In order to helps its students to progress to their future careers with a full understanding of their chosen path, the College was pleased to invite Andrew Brownrigg into the kitchen to give a special seminar. Andrew is the newest member of the team at Hospitality Action, the trade charity for the hospitality industry. Their Ark Foundation service aims to educate the hospitality industry’s students, employees and management about the dangers of alcohol dependency and other drug misuse.

The seminar was intended to make students aware, in advance, of the risk factors that are traditionally a part of the industry: long hours, high pressure, and the ready availability of alcohol and other substances and how to avoid these pitfalls.

Andrew Brownrigg, a former professional footballer, led the seminar. He has battled with addiction throughout his life, particularly during his sporting career. Andrew drew upon the significant similarities between the cultures of sport and hospitality, giving a detailed insight into how the pressures and stresses of these occupations can lead to problematic experiences for individuals. He entered The Sporting Chance Clinic in 2008, and has subsequently been clean and sober for over six years.

Jason Benn, Curriculum Leader for Catering and Hospitality, said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn about the stresses and pressures involved in a fast-paced, hardworking environment, from someone who, unfortunately, has fallen prey to these issues in his past. Andrew’s talk was incredibly motivational, and we hope that this next generation of hospitality employees can use the knowledge they have gained to keep themselves and their peers safe in the future.”