Le Tour de Vacherin: raising money for the Luminary Bakery

Nine staff members of Vacherin, Regent’s University London’s catering company, will ride a total of 1,065 kilometres or 665 miles in seven days, hoping to reach their goal of raising £15,000 for the Luminary Bakery.

Commemorating Vacherin’s fifteenth year of operation, the team will be leaving their Hatton Garden office in London on 8 September, and cycling almost 100 miles per day, arriving at the Museum of Vacherin in Les Charbonnieres – the home of Vacherin, in the Jura region of Switzerland – on 14 September.

Eight members of staff from Vacherin, Regent's catering company

Taking part in Le Tour de Vacherin are Phil Roker, owner and Managing Director of Vacherin; Simon MacFarlane, Director and Head of Operations; Tom Rule, Director; Ula Bardovskaja, General Manager, Paul Matthews, Head Chef; Lewis Linley, Sous Chef; Simon William Smith, General Manager; Lawrence Newsham, Head Chef, and Hamish Thorn, Catering Manager.

Vacherin have been working with the Luminary Bakery for the last twelve months – a social enterprise in East London, which offers opportunities for women who have experienced social or economic disadvantage, to build their skills and improve their futures.

Alice Williams, Luminary Founder, explains how the money would be used: 'Luminary love working with Vacherin, who support what we do in such a range of ways. This fundraiser is particularly exciting as it will provide a high-spec training facility for our women to undertake their training.

'Luminary supports women who are some of the most disadvantaged in the UK - they have huge potential and we believe they deserve the best.

'Currently, women on our courses are having to share basic equipment which isn’t fit for purpose. This fundraising will fit-out a ‘bake-off’ style kitchen so that each trainee can have their own station, and they can practice with equipment they will use in a professional kitchen once they step into their hospitality career.'

Phil Roker, owner and Managing Director, added: 'When Tom Rule came up with the idea of riding from our “home” in Hatton Garden to the home of Vacherin cheese, deep in the Swiss Jura, I didn’t think anyone would be mad enough to take on the challenge!

'To have a team of nine, who are all putting in the training miles, and putting on all sorts of events to raise money, while holding down their busy jobs is way beyond anything we could have hoped for and the money raised will be literally life-changing for Luminary Bakery.'

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