Anybody who spotted Steve Loughton hanging perilously over the edge of London’s Lancaster hotel on Friday lunchtime could be forgiven for wondering if the pressure of the catering equipment industry had finally got too much.
In fact, the Jestic chief was one of 100 volunteers taking part in a special abseil from the 18-floor hotel’s roof on behalf of hospitality charity Springboard.
The proceeds raised from the event will be put towards Springboard ‘KickStart Programme’, which supports young school and college leavers with their first step onto the career ladder.
Loughton has worked with Springboard and its chief executive, Anne Pierce, for several years through his involvement in the FutureChef initiative, bidding in online auctions and supporting their fundraising activities.
“I feel a particular affinity with Springboard because it is a focused hospitality industry charity that does so much to support young people and help them to realise their potential as well as assisting underprivileged and disadvantaged people find careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism,” he explained.
And what about the abseil itself? “The Lancaster London hotel is a 200ft abseil and the safety briefing was taken by an RAF instructor who calmly said that in 12 years of jumps ‘I haven’t lost anybody yet.’ The seriously challenging moment is just before you leave the edge of the building and lean backwards into space. The view of London at that height is magnificent and I’m delighted to say that I reached the ground safely.”
Steve’s sponsorship is page is still open and donations can be made here.