Nearly 100 runners from the world of hospitality, sport and business have raised more than £20,000 for Galvin's Chance today in the third annual Mayfair Park and Tower Race.
They gathered at 8am to complete a 4km circuit of the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park followed by a run up 475 stairs to the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows restaurant on the 28th floor of Hilton Park Lane.
The fundraiser was organised by Hilton in the Community Foundation to support at-risk young people in the capital through an apprentice scheme called Galvin's Chance.
Founders Chris Galvin, chef-patron of Galvin at Windows, and the restaurant's general manager, Fred Sirieix, were among the runners. They were joined by Simon Vincent, Hilton Worldwide president for Europe, and former British welterweight boxing champion Clinton Mckenzie.
Galvin at Windows employee Emmeric Hurault was this year's winner, finishing in just 18 minutes and 58 seconds.
Speaking at the event, Chris Galvin said: "Working in restaurants, as I have now done for 33 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."
The Galvin's Chance initiative, delivered in partnership with industry charity Springboard, offers training, mentoring and a series of apprenticeships in some of London's finest hotels and restaurants to at-risk young Londoners, including ex-offenders, in a bid to support them into full-time employment.
One of last year's apprentices, 22-year-old Liam Frederick Waterman, spoke at the post-run reception in Galvin at Windows.
He said: "Prior to Galvin's Chance I was on probation and doing community service. Galvin's Chance helped me by giving me a chance to find the confidence to help myself.
"I am currently studying an NVQ level 2 and working full-time as a commis waiter. I would definitely recommend the programme as it has given me a first-class opportunity."
More information about the race and the charity can be found at http://mayfairparkandtowerrace.com.
By Janie Stamford
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