John McLaughlin is the General Manager of Hilton Manchester Deansgate, and a member of our grants committee. Every quarter he helps allocate much-needed funding to young people and children around the UK. We caught up with him to ask him to share his experience of working with the Foundation.
What prompted you to first get involved with the Foundation?
I am passionate about giving back to the community and contributing to making a difference. The opportunity to meet new people, and gain valuable skills, has also been very rewarding and inspiring.
You’re on the Foundation’s Grants Committee; could you give an explanation of what this involves?
As a member of the committee we openly discuss applications and endeavours, then after reading the shortlisted candidates we collaborate and agree those projects where we believe we can genuinely make a difference. I’m passionate about sharing and telling the story of the great work we have done and continue to do.
Do you have any favourite moments from working with the Foundation over the past couple of years?
The genuine engagement and passion shown by all committee members, as well as the innovative approach the Foundation continues to showcase, has been a real highlight. Locally, the Foundation has provided great PR opportunities, helping to raise the profile of our Annual Star Ball which raises money for the Foundation and for our charity of choice Variety, as well as raising the profile of the hotel.
Have there been any particular projects that have stood out to you, or any projects that you’ve visited that you found inspiring?
This is a difficult one as all projects have a compelling and emotive story. However, Francis House in Manchester is one that particularly stands out. Francis House provides care for children and young adults with life threatening conditions. It provides unconditional support and friendship for the whole family. I personally was introduced to one local family whose child was very ill – seeing their courage, commitment and strength of spirit was a humbling experience and one that I often reflect on. The Foundation awarded them £28k.
We are hugely grateful to John, and all the members of the grant committee, for all the work he does supporting the Foundation.