Whitgift House is the first care home nationally to receive an award for its commitment to ethical and environmentally sustainable food sourcing, and providing freshly-prepared, healthy meals. 

The caterers for Whitgift House in South Croydon were awarded the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark at a ceremony held at Merchant Taylors Hall, City of London on Thursday 21 February.

The Catering Mark is already held by schools, hospitals, nurseries and other organisations across the UK, however Whitgift House is the first ever care home to receive the award.

Pride Catering is responsible for providing healthy and nutritious meals to residents at the home and Head Chef, Chris Harcus, ensures that all produce is good quality and free from processed ingredients, trans-fats and undesirable additives. Additionally, fresh produce is sourced locally from vegetable farms in and around Ashford and free-range meat from a butcher in Lingfield.

Philomena Kavanagh, Head of Care, Whitgift House, said: “At Whitgift House we are committed to the highest standards of care and we feel it is important to provide healthy and nutritious meals for residents using fresh, locally sourced produce. This award is our guarantee to them.

“Not only are our residents benefitting from a healthier diet, they are also enjoying their food more. We are not going to stop with the Bronze award, plans are already underway to go for Gold!”

Rob Sexton, CEO of Soil Association Certification, said: “We’re delighted that Whitgift House’s caterers, Pride, have achieved this award. It’s incredibly important that the highest standards of food, represented by the Catering Mark, are extended to the most vulnerable people in society, all the way from children in nurseries to people in care homes. Well done to Whitgift House for blazing the trail.”

Whitgift House offers a popular Lunch Club to all local, retired residents, outside of the home to take advantage of a two course meal for £3, Monday to Friday in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Whitgift House is part of The Whitgift Foundation and offers 34 one bedroom sheltered flats assisted by a warden and call system and also 36 bedrooms for full nursing care.

The Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark is a rigorous, independent catering industry standard which guarantees that food served is freshly prepared, using seasonal, local and organic ingredients, free from undesirable additives and GM ingredients, with meat produced to British welfare and quality requirements.