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Kind acts rewarded

7.4.2017

We’re very proud to announce that Andy Clark, Head of Hospitality and Food Services at XL Catlin, has been named 2016 Volunteer of the Year by the East London Business Alliance (ELBA).

ELBA, a leading business charity, forges links between business and the local community in east London, tackling issues of social mobility, education and employment and making community investment easier, more effective and rewarding.

Andy started volunteering with ELBA three years ago, working with the St Paul’s Way Trust School helping students develop their cooking skills to prepare them for life after they had left home. He also mentored a group of six formers at the school who wanted to set up a healthy lunch business and has taken part in a number of joint ventures with XL Catlin – a long standing member of ELBA.

A committed and serial volunteer, last year Andy helped set up a cafe social enterprise in Tower Hamlets and offered work experience in H+J’s restaurant at XL Catlin to one of the team members. He also devised and leads cooking sessions for Age UK at the community cafe.

Davinder Chaggar, Programme Director at ELBA who nominated Andy for this award said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Andy, who has not only been a great champion of ELBA’s work but has personally supported so many initiatives in 2016. His commitment and personable approach is commendable.”

Andy was delighted with the award and has no plans to stop volunteering: “It’s a great leveller to see people who may be less fortunate than us getting enjoyment – it makes you more humble. There are a lot of people, especially the elderly, who are lonely and just having a chat and spending some time with them is very rewarding. One day we may need help ourselves.”

Photograph shows Andy receiving his award from Ian Parkes, ELBA’s CEO.