London, United Kingdom, June 27, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Merton Parents for Better Food in School is a campaign set up by parents increasingly frustrated that the local authority was not listening to individual concerns about the quality of school food. Merton Parents launched The Dining Room Experience Competition to try to improve the environment in which many of Merton’s children eat.
The first prize was donated by WaterColersDirect.com, an internet based company who see outright purchase as the natural choice for schools who want to provide their children with access to water. In a recent letter to Paddy Jackman the Chairman of WaterColersDirect.com Prue Leith of the School Foods Trust stated that “I do so agree that children should have freely available mains water free of charge.”
Andy Hazel said… “I was delighted to support a very worthwhile cause aimed at increasing good water drinking habits in schools across the United Kingdom. Through WaterColersDirect.com and the Merton Parents Association this campaign will bring the need for provision of water coolers in schools to a much wider audience.”
The prize was given away by Andy Hazel who made the BSKYB ‘Dream Team’ of the 2006-7 season and has recently been selected by Brian Ashton to join the England World Cup Squad. The player was on hand after the prize giving to sign autographs and enter into a question and answer session with the children. Judy Hargadon the CEO of the School Food Trust said, “I would like to join Andy Hazel in congratulating Aragon Primary School for winning the Merton schools' Dining Experience competition. The school's achievements are the result of a tremendous joint effort involving staff, parents, and local business and, of course, pupils. Their work is a great example of the progress schools are making in providing a really enjoyable lunchtime for our children.”
Jackie Schneider, Chair of Merton Parents, who was recently asked to speak about her Sheila McKechnie Award at 11 Downing Street, said “High noise levels, dirty tables, lack of cold drinking water and long queuing times were the most popular complaints amongst school children we consulted. This competition gave school councils the opportunity to get to grips with solving some of these problems.”
Aragon Primary School won the competition because they encouraged packed lunch and school dinner children to eat together and the teachers regularly sat down in the hall along side the children to eat their lunch. The judges were also impressed by the new lunchtime reservation system that allowed children to book tables for special occasions and the customer care book to record comments.
Fred Cairns Palmer the Managing Director of Water Coolers Direct said “We are recognised as being one of the first water cooler companies to take an active interest in the provision of water in schools. It’s our pleasure to donate the machine to Merton Parents and make use of our contacts in English Rugby to give their campaign an extra boost. We are also pleased to release our Free School Fundraising Pack that will hopefully help other schools to provide water for their children.”
Tracy Riccio (Healthy Schools Co-ordinator) - ' I am very proud of the school council this year, they are constantly working hard to help improve the school for our pupils. Winning this prize shows just how hard they have worked. The water cooler will benefit all the children in the school especially now we are entering the warmer months I am sure that everyone will appreciate this brilliant prize!'
Other winners included Beecholme Primary School who won £300 for the school council to spend on their dining room and Wimbledon Park Primary School who won £100
The judges of the competition were: Irene Carroll the Chair of Local Authority Caterers Association, Joanne Collins the Policy and Communications Manager for the Food for Life Partnership, Diane Pilkington a journalist for the Wimbledon Guardian, Paula Sutcliff the Secretary of Merton Parents and Angus Deuchar the Vice chair of Merton Parents.
For more information on the event please contact Fred Cairns Palmer on:
Fred Cairns Palmer
0800 7311 491