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Sharon and her award-winning team - L to R: Lesley Gibson, Julie Fisher, Sharon Blakemore (catering manager), Vicky Dovaston, June Atkinson, Linda Stirling and Sharon Turner

Grangefield Academy catering team win LACA catering award

Northern Education Trust school in Stockton is regional catering management team of the year

Posted by Stephanie Broad | May 22, 2016 | Catering & hospitality

The catering team at The Grangefield Academy in Stockton on Tees has clinched a regional award for being the best catering management team of the year 2016 and for its outstanding contribution to catering.

Organised by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA), a national body, the LACA awards for excellence in catering recognise professionalism, management skills, dedication to the school meal service and innovation in creating budget conscious menus.

Although sponsored by Northern Education Trust, The Grangefield Academy’s seven-strong catering team is employed by Stockton Borough Council.

Though catering manager Sharon Blakemore took up her role in September 2015, two members of the team Lesley Gibson and Julie Fisher have worked at Grangefield for 22 and 23 years respectively, serving meals to thousands of students during that time.

Sharon quickly made her mark on arriving at the academy by introducing a number of themed menus to make school meals more interesting and to encourage students to try new foods and flavours. Themes such as Mexican food, the Wild West, Valentine’s Day, a Chinese New Year celebration, Burns Night and more recently, a celebration event to mark HM The Queen’s 90th birthday, have all been a great success.

Thrilled to receive the award, she said: “We were absolutely amazed when our name was called out, so it is a great honour to be recognised in this way. It is very much a team effort and I would like to thank all my ladies because they are a great bunch and a pleasure to work with. They have all worked really hard and since moving to our new school building in April, we now we have a fantastic school kitchen to work in, which will make a huge difference.”

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