Council catering teams in running for excellence awards

We are celebrating after making the shortlist for a selection of awards that recognise the best in catering services.

What awards have we been shortlisted for? 

Council teams have been shortlisted in four categories of this year’s Local Authority Catering Association (LACA) Awards in the Yorkshire and Humberside region, as well as one category for a Public Sector Catering Award.

We currently provide catering and complementary professional support services to schools, extra care sites and commercial catering venues across Kirklees and the wider region including Calderdale, Leeds and Oldham.

The LACA awards celebrate the best school catering services and acknowledge individuals and teams who continue to make a real difference to school food and education catering. Nominations have been made by the schools, Headteachers or colleagues, who want to highlight those that have gone above and beyond their roles.

Unsung Hero Award

Amongst those shortlisted is Jenny Hiley for the Unsung Hero Award. As an Area Catering Manager, Jenny has been recognised for her hard work, inspiration and innovation to support teams of staff whilst maintaining the highest standards. She has recently retired after over 40 years with the council.

Which catering teams have made the shortlists? 

Catering teams making it to the LACA shortlists are:

  • Primary School Catering Team: Warwick Road Primary School
  • Secondary School Catering Team: Waterhead Academy and Moor End Academy
  • Unsung Hero Award: Jenny Hiley
  • Head Teachers Award: Norristhorpe Kitchen Team, Littletown Junior & Infant School and Scholes Village Primary

We are also celebrating after Robert Baines, Catering Operations Manager, is a finalist in the Catering Manager of the Year category of the Public Sector Catering Awards 2021. Robert has been shortlisted for demonstrating exceptional leadership to develop and motivate staff, as well as finding creative solutions for operational improvements.

Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture & Greener Kirklees said:

“I’m immensely proud the hard work of Jenny, Robert and our catering teams has been recognised by the judges of both the LACA and Public Sector Catering Awards.

To make it to the shortlist speaks volumes about the dedication and inspiration shown by these individuals and teams to their roles, colleagues and customers, and of the high standards of customer service and care they provide.

Just to be nominated in the first place demonstrates how valued our staff are by the colleagues and schools they work with. They do so much more than just provide a meal. It’s great to recognise influential leadership, the partnership staff develop with schools and celebrate what they bring to the learning environment.

Never have our catering teams been more valued than throughout the Covid pandemic where everyone has worked together, under difficult circumstances, for the benefit of our colleagues, children and customers. Wearing PPE in hot kitchens, they have continued to prepare and provide fresh meals for those children who needed to attend a school setting, such as those of key workers.”

When will the winners be announced? 

The Public Sector Catering Awards 2021 winners will be announced at the awards ceremony taking place on 9 September at the Hilton London Metropole.

The regional LACA winners will be announced at the awards evening, to be held at the Doubletree Hilton Leeds hotel on Friday 24 September.