Charity begins in the kitchen

Throughout this summer, the Catering Insight website has been reporting on a veritable cornucopia of charity fundraising stories relating to catering equipment distributors, manufacturers and suppliers.

I have never seen an industry as generous with its time and money to help those in need, and I can only applaud everyone’s efforts.

The physical events such as triathlons, marathons, cycle rides etc that people have taken part in cannot be prepared for overnight. There must have been a whole training regime in place to get them to the fitness required – and combining this with a full time job in the busy catering equipment industry is no mean feat.

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For instance, Hobart UK’s warewashing marketing manager, Chris Birch, will be taking on a 240-mile cycling challenge between London and Paris in September to raise £500 for hospitality industry charity, Springboard. In fact this is the second time he would have taken on this event, having previously raced from Hobart’s Paris offices to its Peterborough HQ in 2011.

Also getting out their cycling shorts were Smeg UK staff, who finished a bespoke 300-mile bike ride between Venice and Milan on behalf of Action Medical Research. Hosting various events has meant the manufacturer has raised an incredible £45,000 for this charity to date.

Distributors have been getting in on the act too, with the Space Group holding an all day event comprising a 10km off-road walk through the Cotswolds, before a 50km bike ride, and a 19km paddle down the River Wye in two-man boats. This was in aid of local disabled children’s charity, Allsorts, which Space has nominated as its dedicated charity for this year.

Elsewhere, Abraxas Catering Equipment’s sales co-ordinator Tom Wraight competed in this year’s London Triathlon on 9 August, swimming 1.5km, cycling 80km and running 10km around the ExCel Centre in east London. He is attempting to raise £1,000 for the Stroke Association.

Furthermore, in August, Catering Insight publicised an appeal for catering equipment donations for Bradford based homeless charity, Inn Churches, which was looking to obtain several appliances for its new ‘pay as you feel’ cafe as part of its Storehouse initiative.

I am pleased to report that several manufacturers are banding together to meet the charity’s needs, with Inn Churches’ CEO, Juli Thompson, saying she has been “blown away” by the generosity demonstrated. Catering Insight will follow up with more details as soon as possible.

What with industry associations raising money for Hospitality Action through various activity days, and many others’ accomplishments, there are literally too many ongoing campaigns to mention individually.

All I can say is: keep up the good work, folks, you’re all heroes.

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