Nutrition and Hydration Week wins the Health and Nutrition Award, sponsored by Indeed Flex
Nutrition and Hydration Week has been running once a year for the past decade. Initially a focused week for health and social care caterers, over the past 10 years it has grown to reach organisations around the world to promote the importance of health.
The week is run by Carline Lecko, Derek Johnson and Andy Jones (pictured), the well-respected ‘gang of three' who were praised by the judges for their character, innovation and dedication to the cause.
As well as running the main ‘week', which has supporters in 50 countries including the US and Australia, the initiative puts out half a dozen newsletters during the year, offers a ‘tip of the week' and runs webinars. New for 2022 is Thirsty Thursday, a six-week campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of good hydration throughout the summer months.
The scheme uses social media during the year to promote good practice and ideas and stay engaged with its supporters. During the difficult last 12 months Nutrition and Hydration Week has played a critical role in supporting the health and social care sectors.
In 2021 the initiative was due to celebrate its 10th birthday, but celebrations were rescheduled to 2022 to keep the focus on helping operators during the pandemic.
A global tea party took place virtually during the summer, with people from different countries coming together over Zoom or Microsoft Teams to support one another. This included asking the ‘gang of three' for support and sharing tips and recipes for patients who required special diets after returning from intensive care.
The initiative is not focused on driving revenue, but is instead funded by sponsors and Lecko, Johnson and Jones themselves. The website is designed as a social enterprise and is not owned by anyone besides its core team.
The week is open to anyone wanting to get involved with the cause of helping people understand the importance of nutrition and hydration in health and social care, and resources on its website are available to download for free.
The judges were full of praise for the main trio and their 10 years of work to support the sector. One described the team as "relentless with their ongoing pursuit to raise awareness of nutrition and hydration" and offering resources that were "a great asset to the industry". Another said that Nutrition and Hydration Week was a "brilliant initiative" that should be adopted by all organisations going forwards.
The decision was almost unanimous, with one judge saying the initiative was a "well-deserved winner".
What the judges said
"The three individuals who have created and driven the idea have worked very hard to take it where it is to date, showing huge determination and character." – Craig Hancox
"A superb initiative that is having huge impact in the UK and internationally. In an area that is increasingly important it is wonderful to see such initiatives making a real difference." – Nicky Martin
- Jamie Guy, The Gallivant, Rye
- Nutrition and Hydration Week
- Tim Radcliffe, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
- Judith Gregory, Senior client officer, Cardiff Council
- Craig Hancox, general manager, Amadeus
- Jo Lewis, external relations and development officer, BDA
- Nicky Martin, head of nutrition, Compass Group UK & Ireland
- Hayley Miller, head of marketing, CH&Co
- Sophie Murray, head of nutrition and hydration, Sunrise Senior Living