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‘We’re getting a new look!’

PUBLISHED: 16:59 05 November 2010

A LOWESTOFT school was celebrating this week after winning a national competition – and securing a lucrative canteen makeover.

Students at the Denes High School will soon be eating lunch in the canteen of their dreams after being crowned as one of five winners in the competition run by the School Food Trust to help schools make simple improvements to their dining environments.

The Denes beat off competition from more than 1,000 schools to reach the final shortlist of 10, and this week it was chosen as one of only two secondary schools in the country to win the top prize of a makeover.

Justin Smith, Denes’ operations manager, said lots of hard work had proved worthwhile.

“I am absolutely delighted to hear we have won a canteen makeover courtesy of the Schools Food Trust,” he said. “The result justifies the hard work put in by all who those involved with the Denes High School, particularly those who have promoted and championed our cause throughout the voting stages.

“This will mean so much to our students and staff, and of course it means a great deal for our kitchen team who work so hard to prepare food of the highest quality. Being able to sit and enjoy meals in a modern, inspirational environment will make such a difference.

“We had over 4,500 votes which is a phenomenal number,” he added. “Thank you very much to everyone who voted for the school and worked so hard to promote our cause; it was worth it in the end!”

The school’s impressive minimalist and modern design caught the attention of a panel of celebrity judges, and after being showcased on the campaign website for visitors to vote for their favourites – and over 30,000 votes later – the Denes had triumphed.

Chief executive Judy Hargadon said: “When children walk into a dining hall that is crowded, noisy and unattractive, they vote with their feet – no matter what is on the menu. The danger is that the huge efforts which have gone into improving the quality of school food will quite literally go in the bin unless schools tackle the environment in which it is served.

The makeover at the school will take place in the new year for completion by March 2011.

Canteen Rescue helps schools make simple improvements to their dining environments to encourage pupils to eat healthy school meals.


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