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The Earl of Wessex comes to Birchwood Park

Birchwood Park has hosted a regal visit with other special guests, as His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex visited Dine Contract Catering’s headquarters to witness young people taking on a special culinary challenge.

The event commemorated the 60th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), the youth achievement programme that supports development through physical, creative and voluntary activities for young people aged between 14 and 24.

At the Birchwood event, teams of pupils from three local schools teamed up with Dine Contract Catering apprentices and DofE ambassadors in a Ready, Steady, Cook-style competition judged by celebrity chef, Andrew Nutter – a former Ready Steady Cook chef himself – and Cheshire High Sheriff, Bill Holroyd.

Also on hand to support the budding chefs was former Krypton Factor contestant, Geoff Kershaw, who compered as the teams battled the clock to cook a meal that would be suitable for eating during a DofE Award expedition. After much anticipation, Woolston High School were crowned winners of the Ready, Steady, Cook-style contest.

Jonathan Walsh, Managing Director at Birchwood Park, said, “We’re thrilled to welcome The Earl of Wessex to Birchwood Park today, as he commends the hard work of the amazing students in the Warrington area. Dine Contact Catering delivers great food to customers and visitors at Birchwood Park, and we all thoroughly enjoyed seeing their apprentices in action. Completing the DofE Award is a fantastic accomplishment and it’s great to see Dine Contract Catering supporting such a brilliant cause for young people.”

Ian Cartwright, Dine Contract Catering’s Managing Director, said: “Dine Contract Catering’s hosting of the competition is part of its ongoing support for the Charity, which is encouraging everyone to take part in a DofE Diamond Challenge in 2016 to help raise awareness and funds.”

“We were thrilled to host the competition, which is not only a fun way to celebrate this important anniversary, but a great opportunity to encourage young people to develop an interest in cooking and potentially consider a career in catering.”

“We are passionate about helping young people to gain the skills and confidence they need to forge successful careers in catering, and the ethos of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award fits very closely with our own. Each of our apprentices is given the opportunity to achieve a DofE Award and you can see the difference in their confidence after completing challenging expeditions.”

Matthew Caldwell, is currently completing his Gold DofE programme as part of his apprenticeship at Dine Contract Catering: “The Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award really pushed me out of my comfort zone and made such a big difference to my confidence.”

“I’ve made some great friends and gained some important skills just as I’m starting out in my career. Not only does it look good on my CV, it’s also been a lot of fun!”