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Celebrities step up to give youth a chance
Celebrities including former England footballer Graeme Le Saux and Olympic medallist Roger Black are set to run the Mayfair Park and Tower Race - a 4.5 km sprint around the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park followed by a gruelling tower run up 28 floors to the top of the London Hilton on Park Lane.
The goal of the event, scheduled for Wednesday June 17th 2009, is to raise £30,000 for a new charity apprenticeship programme called Galvin's Chance, offering a series of apprenticeships in some of London's finest hotels. The project has been initiated by the Galvin at Windows restaurant, the finish point for the race.
Speaking at the launch, Graeme Le Saux said: "There are thousands of young people across London who can only dream of working in a place like Galvin at Windows - our aim with this fundraising event is to make that dream more of a reality for a handful of lucky youths."
Galvin's Chance, set to launch in the autumn, will provide an opportunity to disadvantaged young people aged 18-24 at risk of gun and knife crime on some of Britain's most violent housing estates. The programme will include industry leading training towards a ‘front of house' hotel career - one which requires dedication, ambition and enthusiasm.
Initially piloted at Galvin at Windows at the London Hilton on Park Lane, apprentices will also be placed at other luxury establishments. The programme is an initiative of Hilton in the Community Foundation - Hilton's charitable division which has a focus on helping children and which has raised around £7m in charitable funds since its inception in 2000.
This latest initiative is being run in partnership with the Solve This Ongoing Problem (STOP) campaign and Springboard Charitable Trust, which helps young unemployed and disadvantaged people improve their prospects by helping them develop skills and find sustainable jobs in the hospitality, leisure travel and tourism industries. The Mayfair Times is also co-organising the race and is the official media partner for Galvin's Chance.
Chef Patron Chris Galvin, who has been one of the driving forces behind the project, said: "The race will be fun, but the intent is serious. Galvin's Chance is there to help real people at risk change their lives. We hope it will grow over the years and make a real difference."
Inspiration for the project was gained when Fred Sirieix, General Manager at Galvin at Windows, read that South London teenager Alex Rose had launched a campaign to end gun and knife crime after seeing a close friend die, he decided to act. Fred, Alex and Chris worked together to design a scheme that would give young people a chance to change their lives.
Alex said: "Communities need to do more to educate their young people and prevent them from becoming stuck inside gang culture. If everyone gets behind this project we can make a real difference."
Other famous faces already signed up for the race include Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr and TV presenter / wine writer Olly Smith. More information can be found at http://mayfairparkandtowerrace.com.
Hilton in the Community Foundation was founded in 2000 as Hilton Hotels' charity dedicated to supporting young people in need. Focused on disabled children, children in hospitals and hospices and homelessness, grants supporting disadvantaged young people are made in the UK and Ireland, while in the event of international disaster; grants are made to relief organisations at the Trustees' discretion.
In 2008 the Foundation awarded £1.18 million to 298 charitable organisations benefiting over 200,000 young people.
The Foundation's core costs are funded by Hilton Hotels, so every net pound raised goes directly to good causes. Donations are funded almost entirely through the generous efforts and contributions of Hilton team members, family and friends and with the support of Hilton guests and company suppliers.
To find out more please take a look at our website: www.hilton-foundation.org.uk.
Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,200 hotels and 545,000 rooms in 77 countries, with more than 135,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel brands including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand VacationsTM, Homewood Suites by Hilton®, Home2 Suites by HiltonTM, the Waldorf AstoriaTM and the Waldorf Astoria CollectionTM.
The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton's philosophy that, "It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality." The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly regarded hotel company: be hospitable®. The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity. For more information about the company, please visit www.hiltonfamily.com.
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