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Running not Waiting for Charity at the London Hilton on Park Lane
Chef Chris Galvin and former European and British Welterweight champion Clinton McKenzie, joined other runners taking on the Mayfair Park and Tower Race course - a 4.5 km sprint around the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park followed by a gruelling tower run up 28 floors to Galvin at Windows restaurant, the finish point for the race. A new record was set for the race with Alan Murchison winning in an electric 18 minutes and 53 seconds.
The goal of the event was to raise £20,000 in sponsorship for an into-work apprenticeship programme called Galvin's Chance. The initiative offers at risk young Londoners a series of apprenticeships in some of London's finest hotels and restaurants as part of a course to train and support them into full time employment. The project has been initiated by Chris Galvin and the Galvin at Windows restaurant, the finish point for the race, and is co-ordinated by Hilton in the Community Foundation, Hilton's charitable arm which has a focus on helping disadvantaged young people.
Speaking at the event, Chris Galvin said: "Working in restaurants, as I have now done for 32 years, has made me realise just what an inspirational sector this is and what a great opportunity we have to make a difference to young people's lives. The race follows on from that by helping people to help themselves, to learn and to be inspired. Every step taken on today's course is a step closer to helping someone who needs that second chance in life. "
Galvin's Chance, now in its second year, provides an opportunity to disadvantaged young people in London between the ages of 18-24, including those at risk of gun and knife crime on some of Britain's most violent housing estates. The programme, which has already supported several young Londoners into full time work, is delivered in partnership with The Springboard Charity, which specialises in helping young unemployed and disadvantaged people improve their prospects - through developing skills and finding sustainable jobs in the hospitality, leisure travel and tourism industries. The programme will include industry leading training towards a ‘front of house' hotel or restaurant career - one which requires dedication, ambition and enthusiasm.
Clinton McKenzie, who also took part in the race said: "This race is a fantastic chance to support a very important charity initiative. Galvin's Chance will give a group of disadvantaged young people an amazing opportunity to develop their talents and to work at the top level in the hospitality industry. It is a real pleasure to be involved in the project and I'm looking forward to seeing it continue to change young Londoners lives for the better."
All participants will also have the opportunity to engage in training at Westminster Kingsway College as part of the programme. The Apprenticeship will take up to 12 months to complete and the college courses should lead to an NVQ Level 2.
Simon Sheehan, Director Hilton in the Community Foundation said: "The race is a fun event, but the intent is serious. Galvin's Chance is there to help real people, who might have not had every opportunity, to change their lives."
More information about the race and the charity can be found at http://mayfairparkandtowerrace.com.
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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, 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 2009, through the Foundation, team members, guest and suppliers raised over £1,051,264 while the Foundation awarded 324 grants to 251 charities totalling £1,061,556 (the difference is from the Foundation's reserves).
Since its establishment in November 2000 the Foundation has raised £8 million ($12.9 million) for charity. This money has been used to support more than 770 education projects (totalling £3,979,463) and 571 health projects (totalling £2,938,882). An additional £755,000 has been granted to relief projects in the event of natural disasters where the company operates.
The Foundation's core costs are funded by Hilton Hotels, so every net pound or Euro 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.
For more information about the company, please visit www.hiltonworldwide.com.
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