A Tour de Searcys Friday Chat Special22 July 2022
A Tour de Searcys Friday Chat Special
This week, we speak to not one but four members of Tour de Searcys team, united by a passion for cycling and a passion for doing good. As part of our 175th anniversary celebrations, Searcys’ Managing Director Paul Jackson and six other Searcys team members will complete a gruelling 175-mile cycle to raise money for our charity partners. The ride will take place over three days, visiting all our London venues on Friday 29th July, then cycling to Blenheim Palace on Saturday, and finally arriving at Bath Pump Room on Sunday 31st July. The team is aiming to raise £17,500 for charity including Beyond Food, Julian House and Hotel School. We sit down with Peter Martin, Rebecca Hawkes, Charlie Richards, Kathryn Richmond, Darren Deadman and Greg Wojnowksi to get the lowdown on training regimes, inspiration, and their predictions for the hardest leg of the journey.
Peter Martin (left) and Paul Jackson (right), joyous after a successful practice ride around London
So, why Tour de Searcys? And what attracted the four of you to the idea?
PETER MARTIN, ACCOUNT DIRECTOR:
I felt that as a Senior team we needed to do something that would be remembered and involve all of us. It was important that we included all our venues, and the fact that it works out to be 175 miles, and therefore fits into our 175th anniversary means it was just meant to be. Plus, it is a huge challenge for all of us.
CHARLIE RICHARDS, FINANCE DIRECTOR
Likewise, I’ve always enjoyed cycling, and I think this will be a fun way to raise money for good causes and help Searcys achieve our goal of £175k in our 175th year.
REBECCA HAWKES, SALES AND EVENTS DIRECTORI am always up for a challenge, having run the London Marathon last year this seemed like a great new challenge to get my teeth into.
KATHRYN RICHMOND, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
It is a physical challenge on a personal level. Also great to do a challenge like this as a Searcys team. We have asked all our venues to help contribute to the challenge and as a senior team, this is a great opportunity for us to lead from the front.
GREG WOJNOWSKI, GENERAL MANAGER
I used to cycle a lot before the pandemic, so it will be a great way to get back on it. It will also be a great way to help raise money for causes close to my heart and help Searcys achieve our goal of £175k for our 175th year.
Kathryn Richmond, working hard on her sunny cycle from London to Brighton
So, starting with Charlie, what is so special about the charities you are supporting through the Tour?
The hospitality industry has gone through a turbulent couple of years, and anything we can do to help people involved in it is valuable. All these charities are important, especially now, and it is essential to remember that we can still make a difference and help others. On a personal note, I’ve gained a lot from a career in hospitality, and it’s time to give back!
Peter, tell us how your training regime is going?
Probably not as well as it should have been!! Last weekend I went out and completed 30 miles which was an achievement, and I still keep doing park run on Saturday, which helps with overall fitness.
Kathryn, Rebecca, any tips or words of advice to your fellow team members?
KATHRYN: Flapjacks, energy gels, lots of water, and padded shorts!
REBECCA: Keep smiling and remember it’s all for a good cause!
Peter, anything to add?
We must enjoy it! I’m sure we’ll all have a difficult moment, but we are doing it for some fantastic charities and must ensure it is fun.
Greg, What are you looking forward to most while on Tour?
Fun, lots of carbs, and a nice cold shower each evening. Oh, and a Theragun massage at the end of each day.
Darren Deadman, enjoying a well-deserved break after a long practice cycle in the heatwave
And finally all, what are your bets on what will be the most challenging part of the route?
KATHRYN: Definitely Blenheim to Bath. It is the last day when we are tired, the longest stretch, and plenty of hills. There could be some tears by day 3!!
PETER: London on Friday will hopefully be relatively straightforward. Saturday to Blenheim will be like an adventure! Sunday to Bath will be the challenge when tiredness and aches hit us. But I’m confident we’ll remain as a team, and that will get us through.
CHARLIE: The entirety of the last day. Specifically the final hours of the last day.
GREG: Definitely the last day. It will be a mental and physical challenge.
Please help us by donating as much as you can so we can reach our target. All donations, no matter how small, will be gratefully received and go to helping some fabulous charities.
OUR CHARITY PARTNERS
The upcoming 175 mile cycle across our iconic Searcys venues aims to raise £17.5K is in support of our charity partners. Read more about their amazing work here.
Julian House is a charity that supports vulnerable and at-risk individuals. These include adults and young people experiencing homelessness, escaping domestic abuse, adults with learning difficulties and people who need support after leaving prison. Their aim is to build a just society where socially excluded people are supported and empowered to build sustainable, independent lives
BEYOND FOOD FOUNDATION
Beyond Food Foundation is a charity providing training and support to people who have been impacted by homelessness, mental health, addiction, those with a criminal record or who are at risk of homelessness. Their programmes focus on getting people into fulfilling and meaningful employment, thus breaking the cycle of homelessness, unemployment and poverty.
xHotel School teaches hospitality skills to homeless 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 Five Star hotel community and over 50 local businesses - a true coming together of the community.