A Head of Kitchen from Leamington made it to the finals of a prestigious national award for her ongoing work to make school dinners as creative and delicious as possible.
Alyson Marsh, who works for education catering specialists, educators, at Telford Infants School, was a finalist for the Public Sector Catering Magazine Awards held on 7 March in the Unsung Hero category. Although she didn’t win the award her hard work and dedication was highly praised.
Having worked in the industry for the past 20 years, Alyson was highlighted as a dedicated caterer and picked out for her relentless campaign to ensure school meals remain healthy, tasty and appealing for primary age school children.
Caroline Alexander, Managing Director from Educaterers said: “We are thrilled that Alyson made it to the finals for the award, very well deserved by such a passionate professional. Alyson goes out of her way to take on extra responsibility, which was best shown during COVID-19 – where staff shortages saw Alyson running two school kitchens at once, training new staff and being a point of contact for other employees.
“Alyson truly is an unsung hero for her efforts and is a well-loved member of the Educaterers’ team bringing wonderful energy to the company with her enthusiasm and love for her job.”
In line with the principles of Educaterers around transparency and a dedication for the job in hand, Alyson goes about her work with commitment and passion for what she does. With a natural instinct for what children want to eat, the judges were impressed with her creative ways of getting children involved with the meals they enjoy each day.
Siân Oustayiannis, Headteacher at Telford Infants School said: “Many of the menus that Alyson puts together coincide with subjects that the children are learning about in school. She also combines extras to really give the subject excitement for the children – which includes lots of decorations and costumes too. ”
“Alyson’s lunchtime experiences add value to the children’s school days, lunchtime has become an exciting learning time with Aly keeping the interest in the subjects alive outside of the classroom.”
This isn’t the first award Alyson has received, she recently received the ‘Kitchen Appreciation Day’ award from the children at her school.
Alyson said: “The children were excited to give me my award. They had a cut out thumbs up and they all wanted to congratulate me. It was so lovely to see and it bought a tear to my eye, but you know, that’s why I do my job because I love it. To get feedback like that, is priceless. ”
Alyson was one of three to be nominated for the Unsung Hero category of The Public Sector Catering Magazine Award.