Food with thought – The Harrison Blog
Successful new opening at St Thomas the Apostle College
Tuesday 09 August 2011
St. Thomas the Apostle College is a voluntary aided, Catholic secondary school for boys with Specialist status in Maths and ICT. It is located in Nunhead, London, and belongs to the Archdiocese of Southwark. The School is being completely rebuilt under the BSF (Building Schools for the Future) programme by BalfourBeatty and the first phase opens in 2012. One of the major hurdles is that the new school building is being built on the old school playgrounds and so the next 2 years will be a challenge for everyone!
Prior to embarking on the BSF project they operated their own catering in-house. We were chosen as the catering provider by the school through BalfourBeatty Workplace (who would be operating the Facilities Management for the school during and after the build) and were delighted to be asked by the school to start straight away - even though the BBW contract wasn't sue to start for another year! St Thomas's felt that the move to a new catering system a year before they had to would be one less hurdle with the move to a new building.
Collectively we have made a seamless transfer from in-house catering, introducing a new cashless system for students along with our signature fresh food offer. We have refocused the on-site team to become much more customer-driven, resulting in an increase in sales and great customer feedback. One of the features the school really rates, to use their own words "is the personnel who have joined us from Harrison who have quickly been absorbed as ‘our staff and colleagues' and have joined the ‘us and we culture'!". The Deputy Head was also impressed when the Catering Manager voluntarily gave up the opportunity for a day's INSET to stay at the school and oversee the catering for the school's Summer Concert - he felt this spoke volumes! They have also been impressed by the additional services on offers available for after school and parent events.
In addition we are working closely with the builders on the new facility, which will be ready for opening in 2012, to make sure it delivers the best possible service for the school. We are delighted to have already formed an excellent working partnership with the school.