While the pupils and staff at our schools enjoy a well-deserved break over the summer, many of our teams are hard at work, as we support summer camps, conferences and events, or as our teams put in the hard graft needed to prepare their sites for the next academic year.
At Churcher's College in Petersfield, Hampshire, the Independents by Sodexo team ran a cookery school this summer. The cookery school was attended by 25 pupils aged 7 to 16 and was staffed by the school’s catering team. Pupils started off learning a few basics and built up to preparing a whole meal, covering a range of dishes including jammy dodgers, scones, quiche, cheese cake and risotto.
Beverley Speirs, the school’s catering manager comments; “We had really positive feedback. Our staff are normally behind the counter, so this provided a great opportunity for them to work directly with students and share their skills. We developed some excellent course material which we will definitely use again in the future and potentially we would like to take this forward as an after-school club.”
At the LVS School in Ascot, where Independents by Sodexo runs services including catering, cleaning and commercial lettings, site director Jim Gavin supports an action-packed summer of summer schools, events and training camps. Soon after the students leave, they are replaced by 175 international students on a summer language camp, which Sodexo runs in partnership with Ardmore Language Schools. Jim’s team is responsible for providing three meals a day for students, as well as packed lunches for trips out. Jim’s team were also busy supporting the £1million refurbishment of the school’s new dining room this summer.
“Summer camps provide good income for the school and it’s great for us that we can employ our teams for 52 weeks a year. There is an incredible amount of preparation involved – we generally start planning for summer in September. Our teams work really hard to make the international students feel welcome and ensure a smooth transition. “
At Woldingham School in Surrey account manager Natalie Davies, her catering manager Peter Nagle and their team, have catered for eight weddings and a number of groups and events over the summer period, including a ten-day silent retreat for over 400 people. Natalie’s team support the school’s dedicated external business planner with everything, from set up, to providing all the food, and running the bars.
“It is very much a team effort”, says Natalie. “Occasionally we have two weddings in two days, so turn-arounds are tight and we all have to chip in.”
Caterham School in Surrey and Hurstpierpoint College in West Sussex have also been open during the summer catering for students visiting from overseas. “We have had some fantastic feedback from all the groups and our teams work really hard to ensure that the students have a great experience whilst they are with us” continues Natalie. “Summer lets are a key part of our schools’ long term business plans and strategies over what would normally be a quieter period in the academic year.”
Managing Director, Independents by Sodexo, Jeremy Alderton concludes, “Our clients really see the value in using their facilities and estates over the summer break to drive addition income streams and build their value propositions. As these examples show, we can support these activities in a number of ways providing valuable expertise and acting as a strategic partner to help grow and develop this activity.”
Posted by Independents