Members, directors and suppliers of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) have geared up and peddled from Manchester to Exeter to raise thousands of pounds for the charity, Hospitality Action.
Over 100 donators sponsored the team of 18 riders, and in combination with the TUCO Conference charity raffle, have raised over £12,000 for the charity, which provides much needed support for those within the hospitality industry, who have fallen on hard times. The mammoth ride started at the TUCO headquarters in Central Manchester and concluded at the University of Exeter, just in time for the prestigious annual Conference which took place from 25th to 27th July 2016 on the award-winning campus.
Four days on the road saw the cyclists pushed to their physical limits, covering an average of 70 miles a day, in temperatures which at times exceeded 30-degrees. The team passed through Shropshire, the Wye Valley, Mendip Hills, Somerset levels and Blackdown Hills, only resting and refuelling to guarantee they would make it to Exeter in time for the start of the TUCO Conference.
Julie Barker, Chair of TUCO commented: “What a challenge! I am so proud of all of our cyclists, including our own COO, Mike Haslin, who braved all the hills in scorching weather in order to make a difference to peoples’ lives. It’s a real testament to those who took part, they were such a brilliant team and without them and the generosity of our members and suppliers, this wouldn’t have been possible.
“A big thank you has to also go the support team and those who have generously given donations to this worthwhile cause. When the team set eyes on Exeter all the sweat and tears were worth it. What a great way to start the Conference. The team have definitely set the bar now for next year’s Conference.”
From arriving in Exeter, the cyclists hardly had a moment to pause. This year’s TUCO Conference - attended by over 400 delegates - was jam-packed with events, speakers and networking opportunities. Starting with learning tours based around Exeter City and campus, such as cheese and wine making, to TUCO’s very own festival, T-Fest, which got the Conference got into full swing.
This year’s theme, ‘Your mind on a plate’, presented new ideas and expert knowledge from keynote speakers - such as Psychiatrist Steve Peters, Professor Patricia Riddell and Emily Hancock - who discussed the psychology and ‘nudging’ of healthy eating habits.
Following such a successful event, TUCO has announced that next year’s Conference will be held at the University of Nottingham on 24th – 26th July 2017.