A group of former rough sleepers, veterans and ex-prison offenders teamed up with hospitality leaders to produce and deliver a top dining experience fundraising event in central London.

 

The Cook & Dine event was organised to raise money and awareness for the charity Only A Pavement Away, which helps helping vulnerable people get a career in pubs, restaurants and hotels.

It was supported by high-profile chef Tom Kerridge, whose team ran the kitchen of volunteers.

The event saw sector CEOs prep, cook and serve a special lunch alongside former rough sleepers and prison offenders, who have successfully rebuilt their lives working in the hospitality industry.

Participants at the event included Greene King CEO Nick MacKenzie, Carluccio's CEO Mark Jones and UK Hospitality chief Kate Nicholls.

Speaking at the event, which was held at Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden, founder Greg Mangham said: "This event is all about raising awareness and money for Only A Pavement Away so that we can help more people to get back on their feet through a career in our thriving industry.

"The idea behind today was to showcase the fact that no matter your background, you can be part of a great team. And no matter who you are, in this industry we work together, we cook together and we dine together."

Tom Kerridge, whose head chef Chris Mackett ran the kitchen at the event, said: "My team and I are absolutely delighted to be involved with Only A Pavement Away, and this unique event.

"It's a great charity that's giving vulnerable people an opportunity to find stability and build a career in an industry that I love, and am passionate about. Hospitality has given me so much and I'm really happy to be able to help this brilliant initiative."

The event raised £20,000 for Only A Pavement Away.