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Unsung hero recognised for inspirational commitment

A Morecambe school cook is celebrating after being shortlisted in the first BBC Radio Lancashire Community Heroes Awards, aimed at recognising unsung heroes across the county.

Rose Rawcliffe, who works for Lancashire’s school catering service at Morecambe Bay Primary School, was nominated in the education category of the awards by the school headteacher, Siobhan Collingwood.

This category recognises an individual working in education who demonstrates outstanding commitment to their profession.

The awards ceremony will be held on Sunday 16 September at Preston’s Guild Hall. Community heroes will be honoured in nine categories.

Siobhan Collingwood, Headteacher at Morecambe Bay Primary School, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to nominate Rose. I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving.

“Rose has certainly developed some innovative ways of making sure that the children at the school are well fed and nourished. On top of her normal job of Unit Catering Supervisor providing healthy and nutritious lunches for the children, Rose runs a Breakfast Club so that that every child receives a healthy breakfast. Similarly Rose also makes food for the After School Club, so that the children are provided with a healthy meal at teatime.

“The Family Cooking Club at the school, which was also established by Rose, provides an opportunity for parents to develop their understanding and confidence to make nutritionally balanced meals for their children. The course is run in the food technology classroom with parents creating an economical but healthy meal that they can then take home to have for tea.

“Additionally Rose provides cooking classes and workshops for the parents at the school. As well as supporting their child’s health and education, some of the parents have taken qualifications in catering enabling them to gain employment in the industry.

“A tuck shop providing healthy options was also established by Rose. A wide range of fruit is available for all the children to snack on and also to teach them about healthier lifestyles.

“During the school holidays, Rose has also implemented a Make Lunch initiative. Children on free school meals are able to come into school during the holidays and receive a hot lunch, as well as getting to play outdoors with friends.

“Rose achieves all of this activity on top of her job of school cook, providing 250 high quality healthy meals each day. It is no wonder that I think that she would be a worthy winner of this award.”

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: “I’d like to offer my personal congratulations to Rose on being shortlisted.

“I know that there were thousands of nominations, and each represented something very worthwhile. Every single person nominated is an asset to their community. I’m told that the panel of judges spent weeks looking through the nominations, so to be in the final four in the category is a real achievement.

“Rose is incredible for her contribution to the school catering industry, clearly going above and beyond the expectations of her job every day, more often than not with her own personal inventiveness.

“I’m delighted to see Rose nominated. It is great to see her receive the praise that she deserves irrespective of whether she actually wins the award, or not.”

Rose Rawcliffe, who is shortlisted for the award, said: “I’m so proud to be shortlisted for this award. It’s lovely to be recognised. I really am delighted.”

Rose has also won the Unsung Hero award at the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) awards in June this year. She has also previously been a regional finalist in the School Chef of the Year category of the LACA competition, putting her skills for the preparation, cooking and technical ability, together with creativity and presentation, to the test. Rose was also Highly Commended in the competition in 2016.

Rose has worked at Morecambe Bay Primary School since 2011.

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