The ORTUS learning and events centre – an award-winning venue in the heart of a world class mental health and wellbeing hub – has handed Vacherin its entire building and venue sales contract for the next five years. Vacherin has recruited Antoine Pierrat-Brichon as General Manager to lead all aspects of operations at ORTUS.
The announcement comes after Vacherin increased sales at the ORTUS café by 30% in a single year with an imaginative programme that engaged local community groups, sympathetically reflected ORTUS’s environmental values, and served healthy, delicious food. After winning a competitive tender, Vacherin will manage three aspects at ORTUS: the building itself, sales and marketing for events and catering at its café. ORTUS cited the fact that the current Vacherin team already have previous experience of venue sales and management as a decisive factor.
Launched in 2013 ORTUS is an ergonomic, sustainably built and environmentally sensitive events venue. It has 1,500m2 of space split over seven levels and comprising five main rooms that can be configured in 15 different ways to host a wide variety of events. The imaginative 2013 design by Duggan Morris Architects adds hi-tech and contemporary style to the centre of a Denmark Hill campus that is home to the Maudsley Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. It offers stunning panoramic views of the London skyline and design accolades for ORTUS include awards from RIBA, The British Construction Industry and The Civic Trust.
Typically ORTUS hosts training sessions, workshops, conferences, evening events and drinks receptions. It is fully licensed and Vacherin provides an onsite catering team. Many existing customers come from academic and healthcare fields such as The Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and King’s College London. Vacherin aims to expand its appeal and will harmonise its own CSR credentials with those of Ortus.
This initiative combines altruism with commerce. As a subsidiary of the Maudsley Charity surpluses from ORTUS go back to the charity to be invested in mental health projects – and it has existed as the historic charity of the Maudsley and Bethlem hospitals in some form since 1247. The Maudsley Hospital works closely with the Institute Of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Europe’s largest centre for research in psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, and is world renowned for its expertise in these fields.
Vacherin and ORTUS share the ambition to offer the highest service standards; offer best-in-class societal and environmental impact; and enjoy commercial success. The annual Vacherin Cares report (April 2017) showed that last year Vacherin become a zero waste-to-landfill company; converted over 5,000kg of coffee grounds and 6,000 litres of rapeseed oil to biofuel; and served 3,900kg of cosmetically rejected fruit and vegetables. At the same time it achieved record sales.
Newly appointed General Manager Antoine Pierrat-Brichon has over 15 years’ experience in hospitality and catering, and has worked at venues including The Brooklands Museum, the River & Rowing Museum and The Lanesborough. His previous experience includes spells at Elior, Aramark, and Sodexho. Away from work Antoine is a sports enthusiast and a sailing instructor.
Rebecca Gray, Chief Executive, of the Maudsley Charity: “Vacherin is an ideal partner for the charity. They will support our vision for ORTUS which is to facilitate learning and deliver exceptional service in this unique space.
“Any surplus from the ORTUS goes back to the Maudsley Charity to be invested in projects that benefit patients and staff from South London and Maudsley Foundatiion Trust.
“The word Ortus means ‘a rising or a beginning’ and we trust that this is the start of a positive and productive new relationship.”
Zoë Watts, Commercial Director of Vacherin: “This is an exceptional achievement for us and we are extremely proud to be deepening our relationship with the Maudsley Charity and ORTUS. We thank them profusely for putting their trust in us. This gives us a stronger presence in the educational, academic and wellbeing sectors and expands our skillset into the venue sales world – which is an area where I have previous experience. We will aim to build on this platform.”