ASSIST FM Scottish Catering Team Of The Year

Linnvale Primary SchoolLinnvale Primary School’s Catering Team has taken meal provision to a new level in a bid to encourage lifelong healthy eating amongst pupils. As well as the day-to-day job of preparing school meals, the Team has gone the extra mile to ensure every child feels part of the school community and that they can enjoy nourishing food at school and at home.During this school year, West Dunbartonshire Council was involved in resettling a significant number of Syrian refugee families. The Council set up a receiving centre where a range of trained staff and interpreters helped the refugee families by supporting them with housing arrangements, providing them with clothing and household effects as well as assisting them with a range of tasks including registering with doctors, dentists, and schools. The families used the centre as a ‘meeting HUB’ for several months and, each day, the Catering team from Linnvale Primary provided breakfasts and lunches for the refugee families. This required development of a separate preparation area and cooking processes within the kitchen and was overseen by Evelyn Bryce, Linnvale’s Cook. Following the experience of catering at the Refugee Meeting Hub, Evelyn and her team identified the growing need for Halal school meals which had previously never been required within West Dunbartonshire. The team were keen to ensure that the children requiring Halal meals were not made to feel separate from their classmates. They developed a menu, aligned as closely as possible to the existing school lunch menu, which combined traditional meals from the children’s countries of origin with a healthy ‘Western’ style of cooking to encourage uptake of the meals.The team demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm and a really innovative approach to developing a smart solution that has the children’s’ best interests and welfare at its very heart.