The presentation of the inaugural Care Home Catering Awards took place at the Care Home and Hospital Catering Forum on 29th November, where the winners in each of the four categories were announced at the end of the day in a powerful conclusion to the inspirational event.
The Care Home Catering Awards were introduced to celebrate the good work that is being done in care homes up and down the country to personalise nutritional care, and to recognise and reward those teams and individuals who are literally making the difference between life and death, day in day out, and giving their residents an outstanding mealtime experience.
The judges’ job was a hard one, but out of the many nominations received the following entrants stood out from the crowd and were presented with their award and winner’s certificate by Scott Mireylees, Senior National Account Manager of Awards sponsor Kerrymaid.
Catering Team of the Year
Winner: Sunrise of Eastbourne
Head Chef Dean Haffenden oversees a long-standing catering team with a collective tenure of 40 years between them. Chefs, kitchen assistants and dining assistants all work together and support their colleagues in every department to ensure that health, wellbeing and enjoyment of restaurant-quality meals is given top priority for each and every resident. A speciality of Sunrise of Eastbourne is to ensure that anyone on a modified diet is treated with the utmost respect and that mealtimes remain dignified: Dean ensures his team has the skill set to serve up everything from puréed sandwiches and cakes to fruit salad and fish & chips that look like ‘the real deal’. Thanks to the team keeping hydration and snack stations topped up with tempting treats and drinks and preparing individually tailored calorific milkshakes for those at risk of malnutrition, the home no longer requires fortified supplements and and UTIs are minimal.
Sodexo Healthcare at Cross and Passion Convent
TLC Care’s Cooperscroft Care Home
Independent Care Home Caterer of the Year
Winner: Lis Abel, Thorngate Churcher Trust
Lis is a Head Chef who takes her responsibilities seriously and never misses an opportunity to enhance her knowledge through attending training sessions, courses and seminars covering subjects such as fortification of foods, menu planning for the elderly, presentation of texture modified diets, evoking feelings of nostalgia in those living with dementia, the importance of keeping hydrated and catering for individuals with allergies. Lis is always keen to share her insight with the rest of the team, ensuring the residents benefit from the very latest industry research and techniques. Led by Lis, Russell Churcher Court care home uses events to engage with both residents and the wider community: regular theme days, special celebrations, cookery sessions and lunch clubs promote social interaction, combat feelings of loneliness and create a ‘family feel’ in the home.
Adam Hards, Alfriston Court
Anthony Newton, Primrose Bank Care Home
Group Care Home Caterer of the Year
Winner: Jon Bicknell, Care UK
As Food and Services Director Jon Bicknell has led Care UK’s drive to revolutionise mealtimes across its 118-home estate. Jon has developed new standards of excellence and improved consistency across the group by focusing on providing a better dining experience for every individual and investing massively in training for chefs and catering teams. His vision has seen innovations in everything from recipes and food presentation to new bespoke crockery and cutlery, enhanced dining room settings and the introduction of tea stations. All this and more is set out in the Dining with Dignity framework which has been transformative for residents, relatives and catering teams: it has become the ‘bible’ for all Care UK homes, ensuring Care UK chefs are creating meals that residents look forward to, served in an environment where they are more relaxed and are supported to eat more.
David Richards, Four Seasons Health Care
Adrian Silaghi, Nellsar (Princess Christian Care Centre)
Above & Beyond Special Award
Winner: Louise Baker, HC-One’s Roxburgh House Care Home
‘Going the extra mile’ is a phrase that is bandied about a lot and tends to be over-used, but in Louise’s case it perfectly describes her attitude to making life worth living for the residents at Roxburgh House care home, where she is Head Cook. The colleague who nominated her said: “In my 28 years in care I have never experienced such devotion, dedication, loyalty and genuine kindness from one person. Roxburgh is by far a better place because of this fantastic lady.” Not only does she give 100% at work, but Louise also spends her days off shopping for the residents, baking cakes for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries and holding raffles to raise money for residents’ activities. She arranges flower deliveries, sells products for the benefit of local charities supported by the home and does everything she possibly can to create happy and loving environment.
David Blackwood, Meallmore
Laura Fielding, Saint Cecilia’s Nursing Home