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Each year, the winner of this award is celebrated because of the remarkable contribution they are making - or have made - to the hospitality industry. This year we celebrate the huge impact Arnold Fewell has made to the education sector, and more recently in raising the issue of accessibility in hospitality.
Having worked for Trusthouse Forte, Fewell joined North Yorkshire County Council in 1985 as catering manager in education with responsibility for nearly 600 schools and over 1,500 staff. In the three-and-a-half years he was there he increased meal uptake from 21% to just over 60%, despite a reduction in free meal allocations.
In recognition of his work, which included the FEAST (fun eating at school today) campaign, Fewell was awarded the Foodservice Catey in 1988.
With successful campaigns and a hospitality marketing book under his belt, Fewell set up AVF Marketing in September 1990. Since then he has worked with dozens of authorities, helping them to win new business, increase meal numbers and retain contracts. He has also worked with the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) on a number of projects.
In 2000 Fewell suffered serious issues with his right leg, which eventually had to be amputated. For many this would have meant slowing down but Fewell turned the events into a positive. In hospital he developed www.myschoollunch.co.uk, designed to promote healthy eating to pupils and parents, which launched in 2003. It was recommended in the Government's blueprint for healthy schools and has won a number of awards, including the 2004 International Management Advisory Award from the Foodservice Consultants Society International.
Since then Fewell has won the Cost Sector Marketing Award, the LACA Nan Berger Award, the LACA Marketing Award, and the LACA Roger Davis Lifetime Award.
Working with his two daughters, he now masterminds National School Meals Week, which has seen growth in interest and exposure year on year. Throughout this time Fewell has campaigned tirelessly to raise the issue of accessibility within hospitality and promote just how much operators are missing out by not appealing to this lucrative market.
To that end, he continues to work with Tourism for All and Caterer and Hotelkeeper, among others, to increase awareness by sharing his experience and know-how in articles, videos, blogs and at conferences. Fewell has made a significant contribution to Caterer and Hotelkeeper‘s Ramp it Up campaign, which continues to gain momentum in the industry.
For all his efforts to further health in education and awareness of accessibility, Fewell is this year's Special Award winner. He has made, and continues to make, a significant impact in the industry.
The Judges Nominations for the Special Award were compiled from recommendations by Caterer and Hotelkeeper readers and from suggestions from each of the Cateys judging panels. The judging panel was made up of members of the Caterer and Hotelkeeper editorial team.