Famed chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White is to become the figurehead of a new charitable foundation that will help and support good causes within the communities where restaurants under his name operate.
Called the Black and White Foundation, the organisation is now searching for what it plans will be a long line of UK-based beneficiaries which will benefit from a grant to support their activities.
The brainchild of trustees Shezan Aslam and Nick Taplin, the foundation originates from Black and White Hospitality, which, having raised close to ￡200,000 over the last four years on the back of four marathon bike rides*, will now benefit further, worthy causes.
Shezan said: “Marco gives up a lot of time to help charities and good causes as well as visiting catering colleges and other institutions to inspire and motivate and he wants to extend this activity further.
“Recently he’s made visits to Children’s Hospice South West, Claire House Children’s Hospice in Liverpool and Birmingham Children’s hospital.
“He’s also visited catering colleges in Birmingham, Nottingham and Weston, chatted at length with students from Cardiff & Vale College and spoke at the Oxford and Cambridge Unions!
“So, on the back of Marco’s personal activity and with Black and White Hospitality raising close to ￡200,000 for good causes over the last four years it felt the time was right to launch the foundation.
“On the back of these rides we have helped charities including Action Medical Research for Children, Cure Leukaemia and a charity called PROPS which provides a range of services, opportunities and support for those with learning difficulties.”
Nick added: “This total doesn’t take into account all the other activity our venues undertake locally as well as the other activities the Black and White team gets involved in which has included, for example, sleeping rough for homeless charities such as St Basil’s in Birmingham.
“It therefore made sense for us to establish the foundation which will give us greater autonomy and control on where the money we raise is donated and we’re delighted to start the search now.”
With plans for a fifth charity bike from Bristol to Champagne already underway – including a target to raise ￡75,000 – Shezan and Nick are looking forward to adding to the overall total.
Nick continued: “A lot of the staff who work in our venues come from the local area in which the restaurant or hotel is located. It’s therefore important that we not only support the community by creating jobs but also by getting out and engaging with local groups and individuals within those geographic areas.
“The Black and White Foundation is the perfect vehicle to do this and is a significant milestone in the journey of Black and White Hospitality and we’ll look forward to more philanthropic work.”