A year of innovation and resilience

Phil Rees-Jones, director of campus facilities at Cardiff University and chair of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO)

We are finally in 2021 and, despite our best hopes, Covid-19 continues to cause major disruptions at all levels. Universities and the hospitality industry are still severely impacted, but we will carry on innovating and adapting to the new landscape.

At TUCO, our priority has always been to support our members. Our sector-leading community forum has been a hive of best practice, new innovations, and community support. Our #TUCOFamily is working diligently to help members with their personal and professional development and continues to deliver a positive learning experience. As such, we are continuing our series of webinars and online courses from the TUCO Academy, with seven webinars and day courses already scheduled for January.

Championing healthy eating among young people is another priority for us. During the first ever online TUCO Winter Conference, non-executive TUCO board director, Ros Wilkinson, invited nutritionist Fiona Hunter to disclose the importance of having a nutritious, balanced diet. It was shocking to learn that only 8% of young people eat five-a-day. It is vital that we help our students to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into their diets.

Another crucial point we are tackling in 2021 is mental health. The effects of the pandemic on mental health are yet to be assessed in full, but it is clear everybody experienced unprecedented pressures and stresses last year like no other. As such, TUCO will continue its Qualified First Aiders for Mental Health Course in January. We are hoping that this course will start a supportive conversation and explain the essential awareness points of mental health.

Lastly, we are thrilled to start work on a very exciting project that was firstly introduced during TUCO conference. In the upcoming month, we will be exploring ‘Deliveroo-style’ apps with the aim of transforming the supplier offering process. With 78% of attendees in favour of the idea, it is our ambition to continue to drive innovation and simplify the process for our customers.



We are looking forward to announcing other initiatives throughout 2021,
but in the meantime keep updated by visiting www.tuco.ac.uk.

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Blended learning – Did we forget about the students?

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Wednesday, June 15, 11AM London BST

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