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The healthyliving award in 2019: A Year of Living Healthily…

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The healthyliving award in 2019: A Year of Living Healthily…

The healthyliving award in 2019: A Year of Living Healthily…
November 28
08:12 2018

As 2018 draws to a close and we prepare to launch the CIS Excellence Awards 2019, CIS Healthier Scotland Award sponsor, the Scottish Government’s healthyliving award, provides a round-up of the latest initiatives and success stories that have made the accolade so valuable for caterers around the country…



Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre

Having held an award since 2008, Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre in Lochgoilhead recently achieved the healthyliving award Plus for the third time. Catering for youth and school groups, Ardroy’s waste-watchers programme focuses on reducing food waste and provides an understanding of where food comes from.

We quizzed centre manager, David Thorpe (pictured right) about what it means to hold the  HLA accolade for a sixth consecutive term:

– What are your main reasons for staying with the award?

– Food is as important to us as outdoor activities, and we include it as part of our environmental philosophy principles. Healthy living forms part of our overall ethos.

– Do you feel that achieving the award has been worthwhile?

– Absolutely. Schools value the healthyliving award, as they know the food we offer children is lower in fat, salt and sugar. We see it as very valuable to our business.

– What do you think the award means to your customers?

– They see us as embracing healthy living and would hope they take the message home with them. The award provides confidence to the parents and schools who entrust us to care for their children.


Scotland’s Prisons: A Hotbed of Healthier Food

A key area of the healthyliving award’s success in Scotland is the work that has been undertaken in prisons throughout the country.

With 13 publicly managed institutions and two privately operated facilities, Scotland’s prison population currently stands at approximately 8,000, with a further 4,000 staff across the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and its training college and headquarters.

In addition to both the male and female prison populations benefiting from the changes made to menus, the HLA is now accepting and presenting registrations and awards from across the wider prison estate, including staff dining, family hubs, the SPS training college and young offender units. With 14 sites currently awarded – and the remaining seven working towards renewing their award – it’s a notable success story.

Catering manager at the Scottish Prison Service College, Robert Skillen, caters for new recruits as well as external partners on a full-board basis at the residential college: ‘The award has made people more aware of what ingredients are used in the food we serve,’ he says. ‘Frontline staff are more involved and knowledgeable about the food offered to customers. I myself attend regular group meetings to accept feedback and discuss where to make further improvements.’

Manwhile, John Herd, catering manager at Low Moss Prison in East Dumbartonshire, explains what the award means to his team: ‘It has helped us to develop our Athena system which will let prisoners see exactly what difference a change to their eating habits could make. Improving the wellbeing of offenders is a key priority within the SPS, and the partnership with the HLA has been beneficial to offenders, staff and their families.

‘Ultimately the award shows the prisoners that we care and are continually working to improve their lives and eating habits.’


Moogety Grub Hub

A weekly community meal that recently achieved the healthyliving award for the first time, Moogety Meals is a Glasgow food hub and partnership project between the NHS, Elderpark Housing Association and Urban Roots.

Anne Philbrow,  food and health coordinator with Urban Roots, explains why achieving the award was so important to the team: ‘Promoting healthy food on a budget was already part of our remit but the award also helps to provide recognition of what we are trying to achieve,’ she says.

MGH operates in three distinct areas: Dig In is a community greengrocer run by volunteers and aims to make fresh, healthy food accessible and affordable; Moogety Garden, meanwhile, provides people with access to growing beds, advice and gardening support, as well as a social space; Finally, the Grub Hub holds cookery courses, training, cookery demonstrations and community meals.

Anne explains: ‘Our objectives are to promote healthy eating on a budget, to improve cookery skills, tackle food poverty and promote social inclusion. ‘The weekly community meal provides the opportunity for people to get involved, help out, meet and make new friends and learn new skills.’


With an overarching vision for a Scotland where ‘everyone eats well and has a healthy weight’, the Scottish Government published ‘A Healthier Future: Scotland’s Diet and Healthy Weight Delivery Plan in July this year. As a key partner to the plan, the healthyliving award is supporting the drive to halve childhood obesity by 2030. The main actions aim to ensure that:

  • Children eat well and have a healthy weight
  • The food environment supports healthier choices
  • People have access to effective weight management services
  • Leaders across all sectors promote healthy weight and diet
  • Diet-related health inequalities are reduced


The full report can be found at:

For more information and advice on how the Scottish Government’s healthyliving Award can help your business stand out from the competition, visit


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Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

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