Executive Head Chef, Frank Coughlan, has raised over an impressive £21,000 for The Springboard Charity, following a black tie event at Arora Hotel Gatwick, Crawley.
The charity dinner was the culmination of several months of fundraising for Frank, who initially set himself a target of £3,500. Guests were treated to a four-course dinner, followed by live music from local musicians Emma Bentley and Slow Time Mondays.
Frank oversees the British Airways Lounge contract throughout the UK, but throughout this 30-plus year career has been head chef at various high profile venues in the UK including football arenas, and has more than 40 catering awards to his name.
Frank participated on the annual Springboard Trek, which this year took place in Vietnam from 13th to 25th March. The trek involved five days of hiking through the hills, jungles and paddy fields and visiting the local communities of remote North Vietnam. The group also spent three days taking part in a community project, helping to rebuild a school in the province of Ham Yen using primitive tools and materials.
Of the experience, Frank said: “Seeing the smiles on the face of the children in the school that literally have nothing was the best part. It was hard work but worth all the effort made some great friends and made a difference to children in Vietnam”.
The Springboard Trek aims to raise £135,000 in total, all of which will go to The Springboard Charity. The money will be used to support people across the UK who face hardship and difficulties, giving them a chance to join one of the charity’s life-changing programs and find sustainable employment within the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.
Frank continued: “I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me raise so much money for such a worthy cause. It has spurred me on knowing that every penny I’ve raised will be used to help disadvantaged people across the UK who are struggling to gain employment.
“A huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped make the night such a success – from the Arora Hotel for letting us host the event, to the suppliers who provided the wonderful food, and the staff who worked so hard on the night.”