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Palmer & Howells wins three-year deal with the West of England School and College

Bristol-based caterer Palmer & Howells has won a three-year deal with the West of England School and College (WESC) for young people with little or no sight.

Worth around £500,000, the contract will see Palmer & Howells manage the food service operation for 100 blind and partially sighted children and young people, aged between four and 24 years old, as well as more than 300 staff and carers.

The caterer will introduce innovation such as audio menus in order to meet the needs of the students as well as its new "eat smart" ethos, which focuses on healthy and nutritious food.

Kevin Howells, director of Palmer & Howells, said: "The majority of the children and young people have additional needs, such as autism or other learning difficulties or preferences for certain tastes so it's important that we have a sensitive and informed approach.

"Our team has invested a lot of time to make sure we get it right and we have already learnt a lot from the school's catering staff about how to cater specifically for blind and partially sighted children and young people. We believe it will be a very rewarding partnership for all involved."

Mark Cornfield, director of finance and estates at the WESC, added: "We chose Palmer & Howells because we knew they had the right cultural fit for WESC. They have a great ‘hands on' approach to catering and I think our catering staff will really enjoy working with them."

This contract represents the company's move into catering at specialist schools, with the majority of its current business being focused on providing catering at independent schools across the South of England and South Wales.

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

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