Employees from Elior UK have spent the day volunteering with children’s charity Starlight – helping out at a fun day aimed to give seriously and terminally ill children and their families a chance to escape the stresses of everyday life.

The contract caterer encourages staff to contribute to charitable causes by giving employees two fully paid days a year to volunteer. UK HR Director Arran McDowell and PA Sandrine Hughes chose to help Starlight, Elior’s charity of the year at the Starlight Escape Day at Popham Airfield.

Neil Swan, Chief Executive of Starlight Children’s Foundation, says: “The annual escape at Popham Airfield is one of the highlights of Starlight’s hospital entertainment programme and each year it brings a great deal of fun, laughter and distraction to very ill children from across the South of England.”

The children and their families spent the day riding around in helicopters, on Trigger the train and, thanks to Mick Wakelin and his friends from the motorcycling branch of the Royal British Legion, on the back of some classic motorbikes.

Sandrine Hughes says: “I’m pleased to be involved with such a great charity and to be able to volunteer with the support of Elior. It was my first time at Starlight’s Popham Escape and definitely not the last. As a business we are working closely with Starlight in different ways to help the charity - everything from raising funds in our offices and sites to working with our suppliers on supporting donations of food and prizes for Starlight events.”

Arran McDowell added: “Starlight is an incredible charity and a worthy one to be our company Charity. I was delighted to be part of the escape day and I look forward to volunteering again at next year’s event.”