Chief executive of the Children’s Food Trust Judy Hargadon OBE is to step down as chief executive of the organisation.
Hargadon, who has led the Trust’s work since 2006, said she would retire from her role in March. The charity’s current director of delivery, Linda Cregan, will step up to take over.
Chairman of the Trust Rob Rees said: “With so much experience of leading catering services for young people and supporting those who deliver food to children, Linda’s appointment gives the Trust a firm foundation for the next phase in its life. I look forward to working with her on the Trust’s mission to protect every child’s right to eat well.”
Cregan has worked for the Trust since 2007, when she joined the team from Enfield Council after an early management career in the restaurant trade. She currently leads the charity’s work to help caterers, schools, local authorities and the many others involved in delivering good food at school to build long-term capacity and sustainability in the sector. She has overseen the development of the national School FEAST and qualifications programme to provide specialist training for the school food workforce; work to engage caterers with the national school food standards and policy on improving school kitchen and dining room infrastructure.
Cregan said: “I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the Trust’s work for over five years so it’s a privilege to take on this new role. Our children must be healthy to reach their full potential, but one in three leave primary school overweight or obese. Millions of children are living in poverty, many of whom come to school hungry and look to school for their only hot meal of the day. Our job is to ensure that every child’s right to healthy food is protected.”
Judy Hargadon was appointed as chief executive in 2006 under the charity’s previous form as the School Food Trust, a non-departmental public body. She steered the Trust’s work to help schools introduce tough national standards for school meals, which have helped to create healthier menus, encourage more children to eat fruit and veg at school and to reverse decades of decline in the number of pupils having school meals. She was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to children’s wellbeing.
Rees added: “Judy’s decades of experience of public health issues, building relationships and her belief in simply doing the right thing place her amongst Britain’s finest food heroes. We are very sorry to see her go but I know she will continue to be an incredible ambassador for children’s food.”
By Neil Gerrard
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