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Project update 2008

Winter 2008/9

Good Food Training for London
Good Food Training for London project officer, Pamela Brunton, exceeded her output target for short courses and the total number of individuals trained from hospitals, prisons and care settings is 419. This achievement means she has been able to make this quarter's training much more focused. The project has taken on a number of “mini-projects” at specific locations.

The project provided Food Presentation & Customer Care training courses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, south-east London. Discussions are in progress on running these courses with all ISS Mediclean operations in the capital.

This quarter Pamela also trained care workers in after-school clubs in Menu Planning for their tuck service, following on from healthy eating training provided for the same group by one of the nutritionists from the Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (which runs the project as a whole). Pamela also provided some basic healthy eating guidance to homeless hostel staff employed by Camden Primary Care Trust. 
Training for Prisons
Good Food Growing skills training at the Latchmere House resettlement prison in Richmond, west London, started in December with a “Garden Planning” work day, where 20 prisoners assembled a poly-tunnel, built raised beds, planted apple trees, and contributed their thoughts for next year's planting schedule. There are plans to supply the prison kitchens with the produce grown, and to sell surplus to other outlets.

The training programme at Holloway prison is due to start in January 2009. Hackney College will train eight staff members to be NVQ Assessors and a Verifier, and support those staff to take 16 prisoners through their NVQ level 2 in Food Preparation and Cookery. The project's evaluator will monitor the impact of the training on purchasing and food choice in the jail. 
Other courses
Pamela has been planning a training day in January 2009 to promote the use of sustainable fish, which will take place at the Seafood Training School at Billingsgate Market. After the success of the first “More than Mince” forequarter meat training day in September, a repeat event will be held in February.

Summer 2008

This quarter we have run an additional two sessions in Food Presentation, one in Customer Care and one in Healthy Eating for 46 hospital staff. Pamela has attended several forums for the care sector. So far we have run one Food Presentation session at a residential care home in Blackheath, for 16 people and we have a minimum of 158 places booked on courses for the care sector from 1 July.

Pamela has visited three prisons and has been in contact with several more. We have a day's training for the CIEH award in Healthy Eating and Special Diets booked in both Wormwood Scrubs and Latchmere House jails. It is not currently possible to provide NVQs to prisoners through Train to Gain funding. Pamela has been investigating other funding possibilities. and aims to use Holloway as a 'pilot prison' for the training project. In return for providing fully-funded training to the jail, she will ask them to participate in supplementary sustainable food procurement and 'healthy eating' training.

Pamela continues to sit on the NHS Core Learning Unit E-learning Programme: Food and Nutrition Technical Management Group to help provide the first in-house training for the NHS around food and nutrition. The e-learning course was launched in early June.

Pamela also continues to liaise with the Sector Skills Councils for health, care, and hospitality. This quarter she contributed to a consultation workshop for Skills for Health about health care training for the 'third sector', and attended a conference organised by Skills for Care in South-East London.

Spring 2008

Although the project has already been operating for several months, Jenny Jones, Chair of the London Food Board, publicly launched this project on 15 February, at Marlborough Primary School in Bexley.

The first round of recruitment focused mainly on hospitals and, apart from one primary care trust, the training so far has been provided to hospitals only. Despite this bespoke approach, the number of courses run has met or exceeded targets already.

Recruitment activities are now focusing primarily on care homes, and particularly in the South-East of London, in the hope of achieving a notable 'borough-level' momentum.

Although no trainees have been recruited from prisons so far, Pamela has a number of influential contacts in the prison service, including Alan Tuckwood, head of catering for all of the UK's prison service.

As short courses began it became apparent that the content did not always incorporate skills for healthy and sustainable food. This has provided an opportunity to develop new training materials.

As well as devising and running courses, and recruiting trainees, this project will also promote the healthiness and sustainability of food to organisations in a good position to implement changes now and in the future. We are already making good progress on this.

Winter 2007/08

After becoming project officer on 1 October 2007, Pamela spent some time researching key documents and existing courses on food and nutrition for hospitals and care homes in the UK, and consulting on the content of the proposed training courses. Pamela established which of the courses were most useful for this distinct sector, and what was missing. 

In November, the draft course content for schools was amended to incorporate the specific needs of hospitals and care homes and Pamela will help Lewisham College to develop the content of the short courses.

The NHS Core Learning Unit is producing the service's first internal training programme on food and nutrition, and Pamela attended this e-learning programme's technical management group meeting on 11 December. The programme's first priority module, due for completion in May 2008, deals with the 'customer care' aspects of presenting the food to patients.

Sustain's Good Food on the Public Plate team, and Pamela, are also co-ordinating efforts with the Soil Association, which is planning to develop the Food for Life (FFL) schools food standards for other public sector institutions. Fiona White, FFL representative for London, was invited to the Good Food Training project's steering group meeting in December.

Good Food Training: This project designed and piloted bespoke and accredited healthy and sustainable food training for caterers and buyers working in public sector institutions in London.

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