Rick Stein and his team have committed to walking 25 socially distanced miles over the course of a week.
As well as raising money for charity, the walks are hoped to create the sense of community lost through the wide closure of the hospitality sector.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated in his address to the nation on Sunday (May 10) that July could be the soonest our “darkened pubs and restaurants” start to re-open, subject to a range of strict conditions. However, it is believed that up to 40% of restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars are unlikely to ever re-open.
Rick Stein, his business partner Jill Stein and their three sons own a number of restaurants, hotels and shops, mainly in Padstow but also in London, Sandbanks and Winchester. The team have joined a Rotary Club initiative called ‘Walk The Test Another Way’. Fundraisers can set up teams of people, friends, family work colleagues who can walk anything from one mile to 25 miles anywhere at all – garden, local park, treadmill.
Rick Stein said: “Not only are we battling to save our company, we are fighting to keep the team spirit that is so precious to us. Our business relies upon creating an environment that people love to visit, the way that our teamwork with each other and our customers to do that is critical. We wanted to find a way during lockdown that, even if not physically, we are still together and can maintain those relationships.”
Stein, who is in Australia and unable to return to the UK, added: “This goes a little way to make me feel that my wife Sas and I are there alongside the rest of the team, either raising sponsorship or walking with us. It’s a fantastic team event supporting our local homeless charity St Petrocs, which like many other charities is facing funding challenges as a result of the virus.
Lois Wild of St Petrocs said: “We are very grateful for the ongoing support from the Stein business, and in such a challenging time for homeless people around the country. We are fighting to find emergency accommodation for a large number of people at the moment and this type of activity not only helps financially but brings people together.”