18 May, 2018

Watford school caterers’ excellence celebrated at awards ceremony

Outstanding catering teams working in schools in Watford have been recognised at the prestigious HCL Awards on Thursday 17 May at the Shendish Manor in Hemel Hempstead, taking out the coveted Secondary School /Academy Catering Team of the Year and Primary School /Academy Catering Team of the Year (Region C) awards.

Enthusiastic and committed cook managers, school cooks and their general assistants who go above and beyond in St Michael’s Catholic High School won Secondary School /Academy Catering Team of the Year at the glittering awards evening that showcases the talent of HCL’s (Hertfordshire Catering Ltd) staff.

Emma Gritten, School Business Manager from St Michael’s Catholic High School, said: “The service and dedication to the school has been fantastic. We have seen a massive take up in meals and the team has worked incredibly hard to keep up with demand. The canteen is now a pleasant, welcoming environment in keeping with the ethos and culture of the school.”

The catering team at Kingsway Infant School in Watford were also successful in taking out an award, being crowned Primary School /Academy Catering Team of the Year (Region C).

Caroline Tristram-Walmsley, Headteacher at Kingsway Infant School, said “This team cannot beat their previous targets as they have successfully achieved 100% take-up on dinners across the whole school! The kitchen is a happy, harmonious working environment. There are always lots of healthy choices available and food is beautifully and creatively presented.”

Over 140 shortlisted nominees, and those who nominated them, attended the glittering Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony which was hosted by comedian, television personality and star performer Ian Irving.

The 14 category awards, all sponsored by HCL’s valued suppliers, were presented to those who had provided exceptional services and showed initiative, innovation and creativity in their role. It was an exceptionally difficult task for the judges to select the winners from the high standard of submissions. The awards were presented for their hard work and commitment to delivering healthy food to Hertfordshire’s children by the award sponsors, along with HCL’s Chief Executive.

Ian Hamilton, Chief Executive of HCL and a member of this year’s judging panel, said: “Congratulations to all our winners. I’d like to thank everyone for their commitment and dedication in putting forward for consideration the many shining stars we have in our workforce, making HCL such an inspirational company. It is profoundly heart-warming to see the high esteem that our teams are held in.”

The spectacular annual HCL awards event celebrates the dedication, innovation, passion, ambition, enthusiasm, professionalism and skill within HCL’s workforce. Nearly 100 individual nominations flooded in from headteachers, business managers, and HCL management in recognition of the outstanding performance and contribution to the organisation individual colleagues and teams of HCL staff have made.

Ian added: “Our staff are our greatest asset; they have great passion for what they do and have a huge commitment to the schools they work with. Our awards ceremony is just one of the ways we celebrate them and the incredible contribution they make.”

A vital component of retaining the finest people is providing them with great training. HCL provides all staff with tailored development programmes that are regularly reviewed and refreshed, ensuring that everyone in the company is equipped with the specific skills and knowledge they need to continue and deliver outstanding services. This approach has ensured that HCL has developed a loyal team of individuals, some of whom are celebrated by a nomination for one of the coveted awards every year.