A dementia nursing home in Brentry has become the first care home in Bristol to achieve the Soil Association’s Bronze Catering Mark for the high quality of its food. The home, run by Bristol charity Milestones Trust, was presented with the award certificate today at a ceremony attended by The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Faruk Choudhury.
The Lord Mayor of Bristol said: “It’s a pleasure for me to be able to celebrate good food. Milestones can be a role model for how to work with food for vulnerable people. It’s important to look after these people and to do everything we can to support them.”
Humphry Repton House gained the Catering Mark as a result of changing its menus to ensure that 75% of meals on the premises are freshly prepared, and that food contains seasonal ingredients and is free from undesirable additives or transfats, to meet the Soil Association’s criteria. The Soil Association works to ensure that everyone can access food that is good for them and the world.
Milestones Trust plans to achieve the award for all of its 50 care homes, before working towards silver and gold catering marks. This is part of the charity’s campaign to revolutionise the quality of food served to people in its care homes and inspire the same in other care homes across Britain.
The Trust has launched an innovative ‘Focus on Food’ campaign which involves a training programme for staff who prepare food in its care homes. At the end of the course students will gain a recognised qualification from local cookery school Square Food Foundation, whose founder Barny Haughton is working in partnership with the Trust to develop the training course.
The Trust is also looking at how it can improve its residents’ nutritional health, and has received funding from South Gloucestershire Council for a nutritionist to review and improve the menus at its care homes. In another development, it is working in partnership with social enterprise organisation Growing Support to create vegetable gardens at its homes.
Naina Mandleker, Director of Business Development, says: “We want to transform how people think about food in care homes. We plan to be the trailblazers in creating a holistic, nutritious, sustainable food culture in the care industry.”
Rob Sexton, chief executive for Soil Association certification, said: “Milestones Trust are leading by example, bringing good food culture into the heart of their care provision at Humphry Repton House, and highlighting the very real opportunity to raise the standard of food in the care sector – an area where the importance of fresh, healthy meals is particularly significant.
“Milestones Trust are ensuring their residents get the best possible care. At the same time it is supporting the local economy, reducing food miles, supporting higher welfare standards for animals, and keeping costs down by making the most of seasonal produce.”
Milestones Trust is a Bristol-based charity with a 28 year history of offering safe, person-centred support to people with learning disabilities, including autism and those who display challenging behaviour, people with mental health needs, and older people with dementia who may also have learning disabilities and mental health needs. For more information, head to www.milestonestrust.org.uk