BBC Points West Cookery Team of the Year

HMP Guys Marsh team were delighted to be shortlisted for the final of this year’s BBC Points West Cookery Team of the Year.

Nominated for their fantastic daily contributions as well as the variety of projects they are involved in, the team were visited by the BBC cameras in early June to film a slot for BBC Points West news and tutors attended the final ceremony in Bristol.

The annual awards are for brilliant teams who have gone above and beyond in providing a particularly great service to their community. The HMP Guys Marsh team were nominated for working within a particularly challenging prison community providing a great daily service as well as for their innovative engagement in wider prison community projects.

The team are made up of Weston College catering tutor Luke Trott and a group of prison learners who are working towards their NVQ L2 Diploma in Catering and Hospitality. Learners achieve this nationally recognised qualification whilst working in the prison kitchen and still find the time to provide bespoke lunches for prison wide events.

The team have engaged throughout 2017-18 with a range of services celebrating different faiths, regular Family Days for visiting relatives, large scale celebrations of success for Weston College learners and a weekly Ready, Steady Cook challenge. Local restaurants visit the prison to meet with learners and sample the food from the challenge events and one of these has enabled learners to get an offer of full time work on release.

The team are also proud that all the fresh produce used is grown on site by their peers on the Horticulture course who organically grow all the vegetables and as trainee chefs they learn more about the benefits of using locally sourced goods. They also have to budget many of the food produced themselves and ensure that the daily food served is nutritious, healthy and inclusive of all faiths and beliefs.