Doubletree takes to the streets to help Londoners at risk of homelessness

Vernon Strachan, Head Chef of DoubleTree By Hilton - Tower of London with Michael Jones, Trainee Chef from Beyond Food Foundation at the Hilton Worldwide Global Month of Service event in Hackney

Vernon Strachan, Head Chef of DoubleTree By Hilton - Tower of London with
Michael Jones, Trainee Chef from Beyond Food Foundation at the Hilton Worldwide Global Month of Service event in Hackney

Local DoubleTree by Hilton hotel team members help strengthen the community by raising awareness of homelessness and offering solutions through training and employment 

In celebration of Hilton Worldwide’s annual Global Month of Service, throughout October, DoubleTree by Hilton hotels in London are working with the Beyond Food Foundation (BFF) and other organisations to support people who are at risk of, or have experienced, homelessness to gain helpful support and meaningful skills. In 2014 the government estimated around 2,744 people sleep rough on any one night across England[1]. This training and capacity building initiative by DoubleTree by Hilton supports the work of organisations supporting over 300 homeless and at risk Londoners each week, including BFF, Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen, Spitalfields Crypt Trust, St. John Winter Night Shelter and Hands On.

In preparation for busy periods as the weather gets colder, DoubleTree by Hilton team members shared their skills to help build the capacity of homeless shelter teams to support even more of London’s homeless population in the months and years to come. The pro-bono sessions ranged from insight on operational processes such as health and safety, through to tips on cooking nutritious meals at scale on a budget. The activity also saw 11 DoubleTree by Hilton properties in and around London work together to donate 1,300 wash bags with toiletries, over 100 towels, half a dozen bags of clothes, and a vast amount of bedding to local homeless shelter partners.

DoubleTree by Hilton properties across London’s efforts are a part of Hilton’s global month-long celebration of the company’s year-round commitment to serving and enriching hotels’ local communities.

The event was inspired by an ongoing partnership between DoubleTree by Hilton - Tower of London and BFF, which has seen the hotel offer a number of homeless people relevant skills and insight to help them into a career in hospitality over the last 18 months. This has included behind the scenes hotel tours and interview opportunities and masterclasses with the hotel chefs, where they share their expertise, details of their own career journeys and top tips for succeeding in the industry.

“At DoubleTree by Hilton it’s the little things that matter, whether we’re caring for our guests and team members, or serving the communities where we live, work and travel,” said John Greenleaf, Global Head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “I’m delighted to have joined team members from eleven of our DoubleTree by Hilton hotels on Friday as we celebrated and supported the work of our community partners in providing lasting changes to the lives of hundreds of people.”  

“We work with real people who face real adversity and we aim to educate those at risk with the skills, stability and support that they need. It’s been great to work with DoubleTree by Hilton today and we look forward to continuing to do so in the future,” says Greg Harris, CEO of Beyond Food Foundation.

Stephen Armstrong from Spitalfields Crypt Trust added: “It’s been a great day – we’ve had some really helpful practical input from leading experts in hospitality and look forward to putting it into practice in our day-to-day operations. The time and money we can save on more efficient operations will really help us increase and improve our support, rehabilitation and training to people facing addiction and homelessness.”

Community service is a tradition embedded in Hilton Worldwide for nearly 100 years. Throughout the year, Hilton’s Team Members have dedicated their time, passion and unique brand of hospitality to create positive change in their local communities.

Global Month of Service is Hilton Worldwide’s largest annual community service initiative and mobilises hundreds of thousands of Team Members from every region to engage in numerous volunteer events and activities happening around the world. Volunteers offer their time to support a wide range of projects including conserving natural resources, mentoring and training young people, creating amenity care packages for communities in need, collecting surplus food and distributing to underserved communities and aiding local communities devastated by disaster.

Since its inaugural celebration in 2012, Hilton volunteers have provided support to more than 6,700 projects worldwide contributing more than 300,000 hours of community service. Last year in just one week,

Hilton hosted more than 3,500 projects in 86 countries, volunteering more than 150,000 hours. The company aims to complete 3,750 projects across its global footprint.

Throughout the month, photos, videos and stories will be posted by Team Members at www.hiltonworldwide.com/serve, on the Hilton Worldwide Facebook page and on the @HiltonWorldwide Twitter account.

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