Wanted: volunteers to spread the HA word nationwide – and help hospitality people

Hospitality Action helps people who work or have worked in hospitality and find themselves in difficulty or crisis. We’re only able to do this because of the generosity of our supporters.

Support comes in many forms: people donate, cycle, bake, run, cook and host events for us. Whatever our supporters choose to do, we’re always grateful.

We’re lucky to have three regional committees, whose members give up precious time for free to help put on fundraising events in their region.

In the southwest, Calcot’s Richard Ball heads up a merry band of hoteliers, consultants and suppliers who pull together to deliver events such as the Rugby Legends Dinner, the Southwest Polo Day and the Cotswolds Cycle Challenge.

In the northwest, our fundraising committee led by Kevin Haygarth and Dawn Holding works tirelessly to pull off events like the Northern Lights Dinner, Northern Golf Day and this weekend’s Northwest Polo Day.

And in London, Daniel Pedreschi of Park Plaza Hotels chairs a committee that’s responsible for our annual Big Fat Quiz night and our ever-popular Christmas Dinner.

The hard work of these three boards not only raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for us every year, it also helps promote the work Hospitality Action does, regionally.

In the coming year, I want to extend our network of regional committees to encompass East Anglia, the Heart of England, Wales and Scotland. To do this, I need volunteers to put their hand up and say “I’d like to help Hospitality Action in my region”.

Committee members need to be dedicated, philanthropic, resourceful and persuasive. Do you fit that bill? If so, please contact me at mlewis@hospitalityaction.org.uk or call me on 07919 3234978.

 

 

Rugby Legends and Super Chefs Raise £40,000 for HA!

On Monday evening we hosted our inaugural Rugby Legends Dinner at Deer Park Country House Hotel. It was a tremendous occasion which raised a whopping £40,000!

Our 200 guests enjoyed delicious food prepared by a brigade of some of the UK’s pre-eminent chefs, all from or with links to the west country; Dominic Chapman of The Beehive, White Waltham, Jude Kereama of Kota, Nathan Outlaw of Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap, Guy Owen of The Idle Rocks, Paul Ainsworth of Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 and Michael Wignall formerly of Gidleigh Park. Thanks also goes to Hadleigh Barrett, Executive Chef at Deer Park for opening his kitchen to us!

Stuffed courgette flower with burrata, artichokes, beetroot & sultanas, pine nut vinaigrette by Dominic Chapman, The Beehive

Our lucky guests also enjoyed the company of a host of rugby union superstars who entertained us all with tales from on and off the pitch. We are extremely grateful to them all for giving up their time free of charge; David Flatman, Phil Vickery MBE DL, Jeremy Guscott, Alex Brown, Phil Dollman, David Flatman, Andy Hazell, Kai Horstmann, Lee Mears, Matt Powell, Nigel Redman Andy Reed, Gareth Steenson, and Nolli Waterman alongside football legend Paul Tisdale.

L-R: Nathan Outlaw, Phil Vickery MBE DL, Guy Owen, Josh Eggleton and David Flatman

We are of course also indebted to our headline sponsor Sharp’s Brewery for their tremendous support, without them the event would not have been possible. Special mention also goes to Chase Distillery, Enotria&Coe, Exposure Photo Agency, Oliver Harvey, The Pig, Salt Media, Total Produce, Udale Speciality Foods and Wing of St Mawes for being so generous.

Events like these are only made possible thanks to the dedicated supporters who give up their time to help us on a voluntary basis, people like Andrew Foulkes MI who masterminded the event and Mark Godfrey FIH MI who gave us free rein of Deer Park Hotel. Needless to say we are always in need of ambassadors just like Andrew and Mark, from right across the UK, to lend their support. If you’d like to get involved in the charity, in any way, shape or form, please give me a ring on 020 3004 5504. It would be great to hear from you.

Far from quiet on the Southwestern front … how regional boards are helping Hospitality Action

Yesterday morning I visited Lucknam Park to attend the HA Southwest board meeting. That’s me in the middle, surrounded by a crack team of fundraising supporters from the southwest region.

From left to right, they are: Lucknam Park chairman Harry Murray, Whatley Manor GM Sue Williams, executive chairman of Calcot Hotels Richard Ball, Pride of Britain chief executive Peter Hancock, Cotswold House Hotel GM Craig Webb, Deer Park MD Mark Godfrey, Creed Foodservice MD Philip de Ternant, ML, Cornwall educator Stuart Mathieson, AA Hotel Services MD Simon Numphud, hotel consultant and former Le Manoir director/GM Philip Newman-Hall, and educator Bridget Halford.

Not too a shabby a line up, I think you’ll agree. And there are other members not present yesterday.

We’re lucky to have their support. HA relies on fundraising to be able to offer support to people who work or have worked in hospitality and find themselves in crisis. All of these board members give up their precious time to volunteer to support our work.

We currently have three regional boards, covering the North, the Southwest and London. I can’t stress enough how invaluable their work is. Together, they raised almost £500,000 for Hospitality Action in 2017. The Southwest board alone raised £130,000.

This year, the Southwest board will host a Rugby Legends Dinner at Deer Park, a tour of Highclere with lunch at tea at the Vineyard, the Cotswold Cycle Challenge and September’s charity polo day.

Just as importantly, board members will act as ambassadors for HA, evangelising about its services and encouraging industry peers to match their support.

This year, we plan to extend our network of regional boards. Are you based in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands or East Anglia? And would you like too contribute to HA’s work?

If the answer’s ‘yes’, I’d love to hear from you at mlewis@hospitalityaction.org.uk or on 07919 324978.

Meanwhile, thank you to every one of our regional board members. Together, you are helping strengthen HA, your industry’s safety net.

 

Think you’re the brainiest hospitality business in the country? Prove it for HA!

HA’s hard-working fundraising team prides itself on its eclectic mix of events.

Through the course of 2018, Astrid, Giuliana and Maria will be laying on jogging, cycling and golfing opportunities galore for our sportier supporters. If you prefer to watch sport rather than participate, they’ve got you covered too, with polo days in the southwest and northwest. They’ve even got a Rugby Legends dinner in Devon, offering guests a chance to rub shoulders with such union giants as Jeremy Guscott and former England captain Phil Vickery.

Fan of costume drama will want to beat a path to our tour of Highclere Castle, preceded by a three-course lunch at the Vineyard Hotel, in April.

And then there’s our Big Fat Pub Quiz, which takes place at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on 9 May.

You know the form: you pull together a crack team of super-brains, swots and Tefal heads; get them to learn as much of the Encyclopaedia Britannica off by heart as they can in the coming weeks; come up with a name – Trivia Newton John, Quizzy McQuizface, Les Quizerables, that sort of thing – and prepare for battle.

It’s a bit like University Challenge, only with more booze and fewer college scarves and teddy mascots …

As well as the simple pleasure of showing off your general knowledge prowess to colleagues, there’s also the small matter of bragging rights, if you triumph as the highest-placed hotel or foodservice business or supplier.

Here are a few questions from last year’s quiz. If you can answer all three, your intellect is somewhere north of Yoda’s and you’re likely to do well – so what are you waiting for?

Curacao liqueur is made from laraha, a Caribbean variety of which fruit: blueberry, banana or orange?

Which of these is not a form of dried red meat: jerky, biltong or bacalhau?

When and where would you eat hoppers: on your birthday on Belize, for breakfast in Sri Lanka or on Shrove Tuesday on Scotland?

(answers: orange, bacalhau, breakfast – but you already knew that, didn’t you?)