The inspirational individuals and teams that have achieved great things in the field of care catering shone brightly at the National Association of Care Catering (NACC) Awards 2013.
The prestigious awards are of great importance to the care catering sector. They honour the incredible work that care providers and caterers are doing to ensure those entrusted to their care receive the very highest standards, and inspire best practice.
Excellence in the areas of Community Meals, innovation, sustainability, and hydration was recognised and rewarded, as well as the celebration of individuals and teams who have made a significant contribution to the sector.
Stand-out winners included Tayside Contracts, who enjoyed a double win claiming the Catering Team or Individual Award and the Sustainability Award, and the South East Region that scooped the Regional Award for the fourth time in five years.
The NACC Awards ceremony is a highlight of the NACC National Training & Development Forum, and this year’s winners were announced in front of 200 peers at a special dinner held on Thursday 12 September at the Hilton Hotel Blackpool.
Neel Radia, Chair, NACC comments: “Presenting the NACC Awards was my first official duty as the NACC’s new Chair, and what a fantastic way to start. It was an absolute pleasure and honour to present the incredible winners with their deserved awards. My heartfelt congratulations go to all the winners. They really do epitomise the truly excellent work that is being done across the country by care caterers.
“I also congratulate all the finalists. To be shortlisted for an award is a great achievement. The entries this year were incredible and it was very hard for the judges to agree on the winners. Every single finalist should be proud of their great achievement at the NACC Awards, and also of their fantastic achievements in their work. Care catering is a specialised discipline and it is clear from the NACC Awards that our sector boasts highly skilled and dedicated people, who are, quite frankly, inspirational.”
The 2013 NACC Awards winners are:
- Care Establishment of the Year Award – Severn View Resource Centre – Monmouthshire County Council
Severn View was the clear winner in the category that recognises the Day Care Unit or Residential Care Establishment which serves meals that deliver choice, meeting dietary, cultural and therapeutic needs, and ensures that the eating environment and standards provided improve the dining experience throughout the day.
The catering services at Severn View have been completely reassessed. All members of the kitchen team were involved early in the process, ensuring that their skills were fully utilised and that they developed a shared vision. This huge sustained effort has produced an environment and culture where sourcing, cooking and presenting meals is seen as an important component of everyday wellbeing.
- Community Meals Award – Community Meals Leeds
Following a re-branding, Community Meals Leeds seized the opportunity to review its communications tools and develop a plan to embed the service and the provision of nutritional care within the community. The results include developing the website with more detailed information, new promotional materials, direct emailing, demonstrations of the service, visits from elected members, and weekly customer telephone surveys.
- Catering Team or Individual of the Year Award – Bill Kennedy – Tayside Contracts
Bill Kennedy has been the linchpin in creating the brand Tay Cuisine and this secured him the award that recognises an individual’s or a team’s outstanding achievement in their field, including the provision of well-balanced nutritious menus and the empowerment of customers.
Bill was instrumental in the original transition from multiple school kitchen production sites to a bespoke cook chill facility, incorporating a radical regen service not seen in Scotland at the time. He introduced a new position of dietician to the team to ensure that nutritional needs were consistently met.
Bill’s role within the Scottish branch of the NACC is also greatly valued and his commitment to personal progression for his staff is proven by the regular attendance of his managers at branch meetings. He motivates his team to go above and beyond the day job. His advocacy of the benefits of networking and encouragement to excel typifies his whole approach to the care industry.
- Innovation or Achievement Award – Oak House Residential Home
The establishment took part in the pilot trials of Ode, a system that supports good nutritional care by naturally stimulating the appetite of people who are at the risk of malnutrition, including those with advanced dementia. With malnutrition in older adults, a complex set of psychological and physical changes contribute to weight loss and its associated health problems. Some of these changes, such as depression and loss of interest in eating, confusion about the time of day, and not noticing when food is ready, can be supported through fragrance, which can be even more powerful than visual cues. We have all had the experience of walking down a street and catching the enticing waft of freshly baked bread or roasted coffee beans, hence the inspiration behind the system. Early research explored if and how the ambient use of food fragrances could contribute to behavioural changes to eating. The system is about to be fully installed at Oak House.
- Sustainability Award – Tayside Contracts
A ‘Greener Leaner’ approach was adopted to handle the amount of waste being generated by the cook-fresh CPU. Recycling units have been installed for metal, plastic, paper and cardboard. Food waste is also being recycled, including meals that are returned to the CPU, as well as the container and foil. Cooking oil and ink cartridges are also recycled, recycled paper is used, and black and white print is set as a default for all printers. With no impact to the service, dramatic efficiencies have been achieved in the use of fuel with one third less vans now being used for deliveries. The change from cook-chill to cook-fresh has estimated an expected saving of £10k in energy in the course of the year.
- Hydration Award – Avante Partnership Ltd
Avante Partnership has spent a year pioneering innovative approaches to hydration practices and making radical changes to existing practices. The Head of Nutrition and Hydration believed that hydration practice begins with looking after yourself, so staff awareness was increased by helping them raise their own hydration levels. After a visit to all of the fifteen homes in the group, a fourteen page policy document was created to completely replace a former version. It was aimed at helping staff understand how much fluid is needed for each individual, how to screen for dehydration, how to support with fluid intake, and how to report issues. A training programme for cooks also introduced enhanced recipes as a way of improving nutrition and hydration. In order to measure the effectiveness of the policy, a set of hydration indicators was devised in collaboration with the Head of Clinical Governance. To ensure that all levels of staff are engaged in improving practices, a specialist Doctor is advising senior management.
- Regional Award – South East
In this hotly contested category the judges declared South East the winning region for fourth time in five years! The sheer energy and commitment of the South East Region Chair, Neel Radia, and his committee in all areas, from membership growth to new ideas for meetings, delivered the winning formula.
- Pam Rhodes Outstanding Service Award – Jane Coleman, NACC Midlands Chair / Marketing Officer, Nottinghamshire County Council, County Enterprise Foods
Jane has made a significant and continued contribution to the NACC as a Regional Officer and Member of the NACC National Executive. She has also worked tirelessly for the promotion of the Community Meals Service both locally and nationally, and is always generous in lending her wide knowledge and understanding of the service, and her support, to colleagues across the association’s network.
The award was created in memory of Pam Rhodes who was a loyal and committed friend to the care catering and wider care sector and a name synonymous with the NACC.