Burger group Bleecker has pledged to donate all profits on 1 March to mental health charity Changing Horizons in tribute to its founder’s brother, Mark Kaufman, who died in 2017.
This will be the third consecutive year it has supported a charity on the day that would have been Mark’s birthday.
Bleecker founder Zan Kaufman said: “My brother Mark worked his entire life in hospitality. From being a room-service runner to managing restaurants, it was what he liked to do and where he fitted in. He spent a summer at Bleecker too. Mark was charming and funny and had a talent for commanding the attention of a room.
“Mark suffered from mental illness and addiction. In April 2017, he overdosed and passed away at 35 years of age. Hospitality accepted Mark when other fields wouldn’t. It allowed him to stay himself whilst still struggling with this disease. For this I am grateful. Mark’s birthday is March 1st. On this day, Bleecker will donate all of its profits to Changing Horizons to help support and build awareness around mental health and addiction.”
Changing Horizons provides training that helps people to look after their own and others’ mental health through ‘mental health first aid’ which is spotting the signs of mental health issues, providing initial help and guiding people towards support. It was founded by Stu Skinner, a consultant, campaigner and mental health first aid worker.
All funds raised on 1 March will be used to deliver two-day mental health first aid training courses to people working in the hospitality industry including Bleecker staff and Kerb the organisation for street food traders, to instil training within the industry that Mark loved.
On 1 March at Bleecker Bloomberg Arcade at 11am Skinner will give a talk introducing the Changing Horizons charity.
Bleecker was founded in 2015 and has four London sites at Spitalfields, Victoria, Bloomberg Arcade and Westfield London.