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Worcestershire County Council Big Breakfast Fundraiser

A FUNDRAISING Big Breakfast organised by Worcestershire County Council and the council's catering company Aspens Services raised a bumper £1,100 for the British Lung Foundation.

Council chief executive Clare Marchant donned kitchen whites to join the county hall catering team for the charity event working alongside Aspens managing director John Roe and the council's chief financial officer Sean Pearce.

Staff at the county council tucked into a huge variety of breakfasts on the day and Aspens donated the day's takings from the event to the British Lung Foundation.

St Breward Primary School - Pirate day!

St Breward's Community Primary School invited radio hosts Neil and Tina to join them with lots of other pirates at their pirate themed school dinner.

On the menu was Pirates' Pizza or Captain Crunch Chicken, served with Cannon Curly Fries, Shipwreck Salad, Buccaneer Beans and Capsize Coleslaw!

Aspens' school meals service scoops a top award

An education catering specialist that servies many North Cornwall schools has received the top accolade from the Soil Association for its school meals. More than 500 meals are now served every day to Catering Mark Gold Standards in all 17 primary schools where Aspens Services provides catering.

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Aspens achieves Soil Association's Gold Food for Life Catering Mark

Education catering specialist Aspens has received the top accolade for its school meals - the Soil Association's Gold Food for Life Catering Mark.

Over 500 meals are now served every day to Catering Mark Gold Standards in all 17 Cornish primary schools where the company provides catering services. This means pupils and staff are eating freshly prepared meals made with local, seasonal and organic ingredients.

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Birmingham students win national 'Design a Menu' contest

Two 12-year-old Birmingham students, Siobhan Hussain and Innesse Benmoulai, have won a national competition to design a creative school menu.

Their menu - called The French / English Twist - took the top prize of £1,000 for their school, Hodge Hill Sports and Enterprise College, in the Grand Designers challenge organised by education catering company Aspens Services.

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Cooking's a piece of cake for pupil chefs

THERE'S no such thing as too many cooks at Otterham County Primary School. Pupils in the after-school club are learning the tricks of the trade on a cookery course run by Aspen Services, the school's catering contractor.

The junior chefs are learning how to make the meals they enjoy every day on the course, running over five weeks thanks to Aspen business support manager Tracey Sargent, catering manager Cathy Wyatt and teaching assistant Becky Culver.

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Harvest Day celebrations in Cornwall

St Breward CP School took an alternative approach to harvest celebrations this year and the event was a great success with children and parents alike. The event, the idea of teacher Tim Brewer, aimed to attract donations for Wadebridge Foodbank and started with the children turning up to school in non-uniform in exchange for donations of food to the charity.

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Healthy meals a hit with pupils

Pupils at the Minster School, in Southwell, have taken to a new healthy food regime, it is claimed. Sales of school food have risen 30 per cent at the school since education caterers Aspens were handed a five-year contract.

More than 1,500 pupils are tucking into freshly cooked pasta with home-made sauces, healthy hot wraps, freshly made pizzas and Asian cuisine while a sixth-form café is serving fresh coffee and smoothies alongside panini and sandwiches.

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New catering deal for Aspens

Aspens Services announce new catering and hospitality deals. Aspens Services has been awarded a five-year deal with The Minster School in Nottingham to provide catering and hospitality services.

The contract, with a turnover of £1.8 million, includes provision of lunches and catering for a sixth form cafe as well as an outdoor eating point.

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Aldridge student wins Aspens culinary contest

Young cook Olivia Weir, a student at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College, Aldridge, Walsall, has won the Young Chef of the Year competition, organised by education catering specialist Aspens Services.

Hosted by Grace Academy Coventry in its food technology department, the event saw 18 students from St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College, Grace Academy Coventry and North Birmingham Academy cook up a storm.

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Aspens serves up a taste of Africa

Education catering company Aspens Services recently organised an African cooking workshop for over pupils at the Selly Park Technology College in Birmingham.

Pupils from local primary schools recently tucked into West African joll of rice and lamb couscous - as well as learning how to cook the dishes.

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NBA students involved in Aspens Catering promotional campaign

As part of NBA's commitment to building partnerships with businesses in order to broaden students' experiences, Year 11 business studies students have had the opportunity to design promotional material for an Aspens campaign, the Academy's catering company.

Throughout January students worked with Aspens Marketing Director, Amanda Ashmore, and Catering Manager, Stuart Vidler, to develop designs for the company's specialised food weeks including: Pancake Day, Chinese New Year and Yorkshire Pudding Week. Our students gained valuable insight into the industry, showcasing their creativity and talent whilst applying their business and marketing knowledge to a practical situation.

The representatives from Aspens were delighted to see such high quality designs. The entries were judged by Andrea Walton, Marketing Manager for Aspens and the winners were announced. Congratulations to the following students: Kimberley Grant, Mariya Iqbal, Curtis Roberts, Shanice Sian Hines, Josh Dorey, Jake Smith and Connor Stanley. Andrea described their creations as "great", commending them on their hard work and unique ideas.

Aspens will use our students' designs across a nationwide campaign for the academies and schools they work with to promote their specialised food weeks. We look forward to continuing to build on our partnership with Aspens and to seeing our students' designs in print.

Catering award for Aspens' Jason Carter

Aspens' Jason Carter has been awarded the Newcomer Award at the EDUcatering awards ceremony for his work as general manager at Grace Academy in Birmingham. This award is given to a newcomer in school catering who has made a meteoric impact since entering the sector and has shown outstanding commitment to their role and enhanced the performance of the school meal provision.

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Parents cook up a storm with Aspens

Fresh and tasty food ideas were on the menu when education catering specialist Aspens Services and North Birmingham Academy served up some community cookery workshops. Two workshops at the Academy in College Road, Erdington, Birmingham, gave parents the opportunity to cook some easy-to-prepare, healthy dishes alongside professional chefs from Aspens, the Academy's catering service provider.

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Apsens wins 5 year deal at Dunstable academy

Aspens Services has won a five year catering contract at All Saints Academy in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. The caterer was then given the opportunity to cook for the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams, when he officially opened the brand-new Academy building.

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A taste of success in Aspens cookery competition

A dozen young Walsall chefs demonstrated their culinary skills in a MasterChef-style competition organised and hosted by St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College, Aldridge and education catering specialist Aspens Services.

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Quality dinners put Aspens top of the class

Healthy dinners being served up in eight North Somerset primary schools have landed an award. The Food for Life Gold Catering Mark is awarded by the Soil Association to caterers which provide pupils with healthy, freshly prepared food using local, seasonal and organic ingredients.

And the food at Blagdon, Churchill, Dundry, Winscombe, Winford, Wrington, Sandford and St Andrew's primary schools has won caterer Aspens Services the sought-after award.

More than half the food on the schools' menus comes from the South West, including cheese and meat from Lye Cross Farm at Redhill, near Bristol Airport, and yoghurts from Yeo Valley in Blagdon.

All meat is farm assured, all fish sustainable and all eggs free range.

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School caterer Aspens Services hosts healthy eating roadshow for Runcorn students

School caterer Aspens Services recently hosted a healthy eating interactive roadshow for students at St Chad's Catholic and Church of England High School in Runcorn.

More than 200 year eight students, aged 12 and 13, took part in the event which included the chance to taste fruits including dragon fruit, pomegranates, durian and star fruit and try lemonade made using fresh lemons (and compare it with a shop-bought version).

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Aspens secures 3 year deal with North Birmingham Academy

Aspens Services has been awarded a new three-year foodservice deal by North Birmingham Academy, part of the expanding E-ACT group of Academies.

The foodservice deal starts in January 2012 and will enable Aspens to continue to work closely with the Academy, which is set to move into brand-new buildings currently under construction. Aspens is advising on the design and layout of the new dining facilities which will cater for up to 1,200 students.

At the same time, the company is celebrating securing the Soil Association's Food for Life Silver Catering Mark for the Academy's catering service, recognising its high standard of healthy and sustainable meals using locally-sourced and organic produce.

Aspens has worked with North Birmingham Academy providing advice on the new kitchen and catering areas, including a branded Costa coffee shop, being built as part of its major redevelopment. The Academy will move into new buildings in 2013 with student numbers set to rise to 1,200 in the new buildings.

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School meals go pop!

Aspens Services helped serve up a major surprise for students at St Chad's Catholic and Church of England High School, Runcorn, by taking on British girl group Parade as catering assistants.

The five members of the pop group stunned students at the school when they dished up the lunchtime menu. Their stint behind the counter was filmed for an episode of Channel 4 show Live and Lost shown on November 20th. St Chad's student Ashlee Brown contacted the programme and suggested the pop stars join the catering team as part of a challenge where the group members have five days to get to a secret gig, with just £20 and a smart phone.

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Tasty Treats for Harvest

MORE than 250 pupils at Churchill Primary School tucked into a hearty harvest lunch of home-grown fruit and vegetables. School catering company Aspens Services helped the school arrange the tasty dinner, using ingredients grown by teachers and pupils' parents, as well as the school's own garden.

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Cracking News!

Aspens has won a Gold 'Eggsellence' Award by the British Hen Welfare Trust. The Trust - a national campaigning charity whose celebrity patrons include chefs Jamie Oliver and Antony Worrall Thompson - presents the certificate to companies and restaurants which use only British free-range eggs in their menus.

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Aspens wins new education catering deals worth £9 million

Aspens Services has scored a string of new education catering deals worth £9m in revenue. Our nine new school and academy contracts mean we will serve and extra 1.9 million meals annually from September.

Aspens' new clients include: St Chad's Catholic and Church of England School, Runcorn, Cheshire; Chesterton Community College, Cambridge; and Wolgarston High School, Penkridge, Staffordshire.

You can read the rest of this article on CatererSearch.com or in September's issue of
Cost Sector Catering Magazine.

FM-World: Aspens wins Academy Catering Contract

Aspens Services has won a five-year catering contract at the three Grace Academy sites in the West Midlands. From September, we will provide catering at sites in Solihull, Coventry and Darlaston, near Walsall. The contract includes catering, hospitality and vending services at the three Academies.

You can find the full article on Aspens' new catering contracts at FM-World as well as further coverage of this story on the TheBusinessDesk.com website.

Worcester News: Aspens Hit Gold

We are one of the only caterers in the country to be awarded the Soil Association's Food for Life Gold Catering Mark. This has been achieved for our work at Worcestershire County Council. Read the Worcester News' report on Aspens being awarded the Food for life Gold.

John Roe, managing partner for Aspens Services said:

"We are delighted at our success in achieving gold. We set our sights on this scheme when we founded the company as we wanted to give our customers the reassurance of high quality food standards, traceability and provenance that this award brings. We have an ongoing commitment in promoting truly locally sourced food to support the local communities that we serve. This award forms an important part of our strategy."

The company worked hard to achieve the Gold Catering Mark for recognition of its greater use of fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients including high welfare meat and sustainable fish.

Peter Douglas, inspector for the Soil Association commented:

"The management and staff of Aspens Services are enthusiastic about the origin of ingredients, commitment to the quality of the food they serve and how they communicate this message to their customers."

The Food for Life Catering Mark is an accreditation scheme that provides a step-by-step route to sustainable catering. Open to caterers in both the public and private sectors, the Mark has three tiers: bronze, silver and gold, with the gold standard requiring the caterer's menu to be 75% freshly prepared, 50% local and 30% organic. Few other contract caterers in the country have achieved this standard.