21 Jul 2010

Brisk Steps to a Brighter Future

ON Wednesday 8th July, residents at Hilton Park Lane witnessed the spectacle of chefs, critics and even ‘Gladiators’ sweatily bound into the five star hotel’s lobby then shoot up 56 flights of stairs to Galvin at Windows’ bar.
Rather than being driven by craven dipsomania, the participants, including Michel Roux junior, Chris Galvin, Andre Garrett and Jerome Ponchelle were actually completing on their last legs, the last leg of the Mayfair Park and Tower Race. This 4.5km sprint circumnavigated Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake then took in the non-lift, 28-floor ascent.
Via a minimum sponsorship of £250 per runner, the goal of the exertions was to raise £20k for into work apprenticeship scheme, ‘Galvin’s Chance’. The initiative offers under-privilidged 18-24 year-old Londoners, including those at risk of gun and knife crime, a series of placements at a selection of the capital’s finest hotels and restaurants and the opportunity to study NVQs.
The programme is the inspiration of Fred Sirieix, boxer and dynamic General Manager at Galvin at Windows. Sirieix met Alexander Rose, the 19 year-old who developed a campaign called ‘STOP’ (Solve this Ongoing Problem) after witnessing the death of his best friend at the hands of an inner London gang. Frequently observing police road closures as a result of gang crime on his daily commute from Peckham, Sirieix became increasingly convinced that the skills shortage in his sector could be addressed by providing concrete opportunities for the vulnerable young which Rose seeks to save.
Of the event, now in its second year, major supporter Chris Galvin said: ‘every step taken on today’s course is a step closer to helping someone who needs that second chance in life.’ Michel Roux Junior echoed this: ‘I’m looking forward to seeing it continue to change young Londoners lives for the better.’
Chef Alan Murchison (left) who was featured on BBC’s Great British Menu broke last year’s record of 19 minutes by finishing seven seconds faster.
The project is co-ordinated by Hilton In The Community Foundation, the hotelier’s charitable arm, in partnership with the Springboard Charity and Westminster Kingsway College.
Donations towards the new intake of trainees are still most welcome.
First published: Foodepedia