Oakman Chef Takes on Endeavour India Challenge

Joseph Cox Endeavour India Oakman Inns.JPG

Last month Oakman Inns sponsored one of their employees, Joseph Cox, to undertake a mammoth adventure known as Endeavour India. Part of the Endeavour Series, Endeavour India is a gruelling action-packed race covering all terrains through the Himalaya’s and raises funds for charity.

The Endeavour India opportunity was open to all Oakman Inns employees. Applicants were invited to a selection day which included a presentation and interview stage, following which the panel, including Jill Scatchard, Oakman Inns HR Director, and Tom Finchett, part of the Endeavour Series, selected Joseph, one of our Head Chefs, as the successful candidate to represent Oakman Inns.

Before jetting off to India, Joseph was required to raise money for the given charities. Alongside his full-time job at the Red Lion, he organised a successful charity dinner as well as a sponsored walk just shy of £1000.

At the beginning of April, Joseph headed to India for his 10-day trip of a lifetime. Flying into Delhi, the expedition team got to take in the sites of the city before visiting Shiksha Rath, one of the chosen charities which is focuses on providing after school classes, nutritious meals and health care to some of Delhi’s poorest children.

Following a trip on the Jammu Rajdani Express sleeper train, Joseph arrive in Mcleod Ganj, home of the Dalhai Lama and the start point for the expedition. Here he spent time at Nyingtob Ling (Realm of Courage), another of the charities the Endeavour Series supports and makes a huge difference to. Established twenty years ago, it is the area’s first centre for mentally handicapped children and adults, almost all of them Tibetan.

The four-day challenge covered some 70km from the foothills of the mountains to the snowfields, experience temperatures from 30° C to a bone chilling -10°C  and passed through several tribal villages, as well as woodlands and mixed forests. The most challenging part of the trek saw Joseph and the team conquer the Minkiani Pass, an 8.5km route which saw them ascend over 1.2km to the highest point of the expedition at 4200m.

Of the experience, Joseph, who has always led an active lifestyle said “This was the hardest and most physically demanding challenge I've ever undertaken, oxygen reducing with every step taken, it took every ounce of mental strength to keep on! The experience of meeting the children at both Shiksha Rath and Nyintob Ling before we set off really helped to focus on why we were there and who we were raising money for all worthwhile!”

Hannah Milton