Tour de Searcys 2023 Raises over £22k for Charity28 November 2023
Our Searcys cycling team has completed its 2023 fundraising campaign by presenting a donation of £22,257.00 (three cheques of £7,419 each) to our three nominated charities: The Hotel School, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Adopt a School Trust and JUST ONE Tree. This year’s Tour de Searcys took them over 320 miles from London to Epernay in Champagne, France. This is the second Tour, the first one organised last year, to mark our 175th birthday, when the team cycled from London to Bath, covering 175km between our venues.
The Tour de Searcys was led by Managing Director Paul Jackson, with 14 colleagues from across the business taking to the roads for a gruelling cycle across four days, starting from the Inner Temple in London on Wednesday 12th July and crossing the finishing line in the town of Epernay in Champagne, home to Searcys own Selected Cuvée Champagne on Saturday 15th July. It’s been a befitting journey for the company whose heritage is intertwined with the world’s most famous drink.
On receiving the 2023 donation Dana Sandrock of Hotel School commented: “This year would not have been possible without the support of our partners like Searcys. Searcys contribution will enable us to continue the work we do. It will help us deliver 3 cohorts of training in 2024 for up to 14 students per cohort along with 12 months of Employment & Progression Support. We will also be able to continue to support our growing number of Alumni. By supporting Hotel School, you are directly benefitting someone’s life who has experienced homelessness or significant barriers to employment. We cannot thank you enough!”
Amanda Bronkhorst of JUST ONE Tree shares: “With Searcy’s donation, we will be planting 7,419 trees in and around the Nakuru County region of Kenya, near Nairobi. Your trees will be split between two separate projects. The first is direct forest restoration, and the second is planting trees within schools where the children will adopt the trees and care for them during their school life, providing shade in their playground.
Your impact goes way beyond a tree simply going into the ground. Your donations will help to address the causes of degradation in this area, reverse deforestation, create homes for wildlife, provide sustainable incomes to local communities, address gender equality, help provide clean drinking water and replenish rivers and streams which run into Nairobi. Your contribution will also absorb 2,285 tonnes of CO2 and, of course, address the most pressing issues of our time: climate change and biodiversity loss.”
Helena Houghton of Adopt a School Trust concludes: “Over 480 children from 8 London schools and youth clubs in the areas of disadvantage are taking part in the Adopt a School programme, which aims to instil in children the core life skills, cooking. It introduces them to taste and sensory sessions, knife skills, breadmaking and front-of-house. These funds will sponsor 90 children from 3 schools to take part in a ‘Chef on the Farm’ visit, which provides disadvantaged children who would not otherwise have the opportunity, a visit a local farm, meet a farmer and learn basic cooking skills. This would contribute to our goal of taking 10x groups of 30 children on a ‘Chef on the Farm’ visit in the academic year 2023-24.”
ABOUT SEARCYS CHARITIES
Hotel School teaches hospitality skills to people experiencing homelessness and vulnerable people, matches them to sustainable employment, and supports them in their first steps into work. Hotel School is a joint venture between The Passage, London’s largest voluntary sector homeless resource centre and The Goring Hotel. It is supported by London’s hotels and over 50 hospitality businesses – a true coming together of the community.
It has been a busy and exciting year for Hotel School. In 2023, they celebrated the graduation of two cohorts, both maintaining an impressive 90% graduation rate. Spring 2023 cohort saw a higher influx of refugees from Ukraine, escaping after the outbreaks of war. As their Alumni grow to over 150 graduates, with a variety of needs, the team also welcomed the first dedicated Employment Progression Coach. They launched the Hotel School Ambassador programme, welcomed new Hotel School work experience champions, & celebrated many one-year work anniversaries for our graduates. Hotel School’s work has been marked at the 40th Cateys Awards with this year’s Special Award.
Currently, Searcys employs 10 Hotel School graduates across six different venues including Inner Temple, 30 Euston Square, Allen & Overy, Searcys Brasserie and Champagne Bar at St Pancras, IET London: Savoy Place and One Moorgate Place. In addition to that, Searcys venues have provided multiple work experience opportunities which the students rate as one of the most beneficial activities during our 10-week hospitality programme.
Adopt a School works with 15,000 children and young people in mainly primary schools but also secondary, hospital schools, youth clubs, special educational needs schools and on farms each year, teaching them about food, where it comes from and how to prepare it. They also work with parents and families, where possible. We have a network of volunteers who deliver our Adopt a School sessions in local schools and we also have a team of 6 regional chefs.
JUST ONE Tree is a non-profit initiative to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and reverse biodiversity loss through global reforestation. They plant trees in areas severely affected by deforestation to maximise the impact of reducing global warming. In the process, they help to provide agricultural education and sustainable incomes to local communities.
JUST ONE Tree concentrates on the entire ecosystem of restoring life on land, and in the oceans and bringing environmental education into the classrooms to help shape the next generation of planet-conscious thinkers. Over the past year, JUST ONE Tree has gained global recognition from the United Nations for its work in reforestation and joined a small number of official partners in the UN’s Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The initiative smashed through major milestones from planting 3.5 million trees to providing over 36,000 days of rural employment and bringing environmental education into the classrooms of over 200,000 children around the world.
JUST ONE Tree’s founder Amanda Bronkhorst has emerged as a distinguished climate change advocate, speaking at numerous events including a notable appearance at the Bank of England. Her unwavering commitment to the cause was underscored by her nomination for Women of the Year 2023.