18 May, 2018

Welwyn Hatfield school caterers’ excellence celebrated at awards ceremony

Outstanding catering staff working in schools in Welwyn Hatfield have been recognised at the prestigious HCL Awards on Thursday 17 May at the Shendish Manor in Hemel Hempstead, taking out the coveted Mobile Workforce Award and Cook Manager of the Year (Region B) awards.

Enthusiastic and committed Lisa Rock, who goes above and beyond at Southfield School, Hatfield, won Cook Manager of the Year (Region B) at the glittering awards evening that showcases the talent of HCL’s (Hertfordshire Catering Ltd) staff.

Libby Duggan, Headteacher at Southfield School, said: “Lisa knows every child’s likes and dislikes. Her commitment to the school and the children has been outstanding. This is a special needs school and mealtimes can be a challenge for some pupils, but Lisa always goes the extra mile to make sure everyone is happy and well fed!”

Annette Blackburn, high performing Mobile Cook Manager from Welwyn Garden City, was acknowledged for her hard work and awarded the Mobile Workforce Award at the ceremony.

Lorraine Corbett, Training Standards’ Supervisor at HCL, said: “Annette is simply a great ambassador for HCL. She understands the importance of following company policies, standards and procedures in order to produce safe, nutritious food. She is a sponge and soaks up all the information and knowledge she can. A pleasure to work with, she is always happy and smiling.”

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.