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Only a Pavement Away raises £3000 with Tom Aikens Charity Cookery Challenge

The fun cookery challenge was launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen in over 500 people becoming homeless across London, a significant number of whom worked in hospitality.  Many more hospitality people are facing destitution and are unable to pay their bills.

The cookery challenge asks participants to cook (and video themselves doing it) a meal in five minutes and donate £5 to the Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign  Each participant can then nominate five friends or colleagues to take the challenge and they must also share their videos to social media with #fiveminutefeast and #hospitalityagainsthomelessness. have supported OAPA since its inception in 2018 and were delighted to be asked to sponsor the cookbook.  A number of the team have already embraced the challenge taking part to showcase their culinary skills with a wide variety of dishes.

Michelin chefs taking part

The challenge has also seen several well-known chefs and restaurateurs, including Michelin- starred chef and Gascon Connection group co-owner Pascal Aussignac and Sartoria Mayfair Chef Patron, Francesco Mazzei showing their flair in the kitchen. Former MEP and British Beer & Pub Association CEO Emma McClarkin is the latest high-profile figure to ‘accept’ the challenge and pledge her support.

Cookery Challenge Cookbook launched

With a success on their hands, Only A Pavement Away have produced the Tom Aikens Charity Cookery Challenge cookbook, sponsored by, which features a wide selection of recipes from chefs to everyday consumers.

The cookbook is free to Only A Pavement Away members, to help them cook fast and easy meals that are affordable.  It will also be available, for a small donation, for non-members in the coming months.

Tom Aikens said: “It’s brilliant to see how popular the Cookery Challenge has become, and it’s been a real treat to see the unique dishes that have been created in response to the brief. The Cookery Challenge is fundamentally about having fun in the kitchen, while supporting a fantastic cause at the same time to help those in the hospitality industry who are now struggling to make ends meet as a result of COVID-19. I can’t wait to see more entries come in over the next few weeks and to continue working closely alongside Only A Pavement Away once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.”

Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign

The Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign continues to gain support.  In recent weeks several new hospitality suppliers and companies have become involved including the Craft Union Pub Company who donated £1,501 through its ‘Over The Rainbow’ challenge contribution.

All money raised for Hospitality Against Homelessness will go towards supporting both members and non-members of Only A Pavement Away, to help them out of destitution and get them back into roles within the hospitality industry, once government lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Making a difference during COVID-19

Founder of Only A Pavement Away, Greg Mangham, said: “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the hospitality industry hard, I’ve been truly overwhelmed by the support we have received in recent weeks. I would like to say another huge thank you to everyone who has got involved with the Tom Aikens Cookery Challenge and to all of our friends and partners in the industry for their generous donations to the Hospitality Against Homelessness campaign.”

“We are already making a difference to the lives of so many individuals across the capital, and with your support we can continue to reach so many more who need our help at the current time and in the months ahead. Hospitality isn’t just in the community; hospitality IS the community.”

Get involved

To take part in the Tom Aikens Charity Cookery Challenge, or to find out more about the vital work undertaken by Only A Pavement Away, visit or keep an eye on the social media pages, Facebook: @onlyapavementaway, Twitter: @apavementaway, Instagram: @only_a_pavement_away and LinkedIn: Only A Pavement Away.

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