Plymouth Connect With the FSB– 11 MAY 2016

UCSP are delighted to be sponsoring the Connect event being held on the 11th May. This advice and networking evening is being organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in partnership with Plymouth University. The Connect event will be an information one-stop shop for new and small to medium businesses.

As part of the partnership with the FSB, Connect aims to highlight to students the kind of attributes and experience employers look for when recruiting graduates as well as the opportunities for entrepreneurship and the possibilities of working in the South West.

The event is free to attend for anyone wanting to network and find out what support is available to them and includes a complimentary buffet, provided by our Hospitality team. For further information, please visit the formation zone website which includes details for those wishing to exhibit.

Food Made Good University of the Year 2016 Award Won by Plymouth

Catering award_webUCSP Ltd on behalf of Plymouth University has won the the University of the Year 2016 category in the Food Made Good Awards, run by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) in recognition of its commitment to producing sustainable, local, fresh and delicious food across it’s operation.

Jason Allbutt,  UCSP Catering Operations Manager, was presented the award by SRA Presid
ent, Raymond Blanc OBE  at the Food Made Good Awards on 22 March held in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Hall in London.

Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, said: “Now in their fifth year, albeit with a new name, the Food Made Good Awards recognise the incredible achievements of restaurants and the wider hospitality sector that few other awards do. With a transformation in diners’ attitudes towards food and how it is produced, we believe these awards reward the unsung heroes of hospitality who go way beyond just serving delicious food.”food-made-good

The Food Made Good Awards are run by the Sustainable Restaurant Association to celebrate everything exciting about British hospitality businesses, chefs and s
uppliers doing the extraordinary to make food good – delicious, ethical, sustainable.

All but four of the awards are decided on the basis of the scores achieved in the Food Made Good rating during 2015. This assesses restaurants across the three pillars of sustainability; Sourcing, Society and Environment and the awards recognise the achievements of the very best sustainable foodservice businesses in the UK and globally.


UCSP Team Take on the Cream Of UK University Chef’s

Tuco_ChefsTwo chef’s from UCSP’s Plymouth University operation have today competed in TUCO (The University Catering Organisation) Chefs Challenge at Warwick University. Pat Allen and Vicky Whitmarsh were shortlisted from a large number of applicants and had to “cook-off” against 21 teams from across the country.

The teams were given one hour to come up with a three course menu suitable for fine dining, using a selection of ingredients supplied by the organisers. The main protein ingredients were only made known to the teams hours before the competition started.

Tuco MenuThis was a live cooking competition in front of an audience, and a suite of  eight temporary kitchens were created just for this event.  Equipment provided in the kitchens included; electric 4 ring hob and oven, electric salamander grill and preparation tables.  Competitors were able to bring their own additional small equipment provided it was capable of being set up in the kitchen within five minutes, could run off a standard 13 amp plug socket, and draw no more than 500 watts of power.

Pat and Vicky had little over an hour to prepare, cook and serve their menu. Their offering of crab cakes with fennel puree, poussin with cider mash, rhubarb and apple pie with crème anglais was enough to see them place in the top 30%. As Jim Crouch, UCSP Catering Manager explained; “This is a fantastic achievement and a real indicator of how far our food has come over the last few years. To do so well in our first year of entering is a real testament to the skill of our two chefs. I couldn’t be more proud of them. Bring on next year!”

Pat Allen is the company’s head hospitality chef whilst Vicky Whitmarsh works as Chef de Partie at Drake’s Kitchen in the main University Campus.


UCSP’s Early Years Education Service opens state of the art outside play area

Collaborative project results in huge improvements to the Plymouth University based nursery setting.

·        New outside play space enhances a well-established and much loved early years setting.

·        This development represents continual improvement of the service in line with up to date educational thinking and research.

018 The 10th March saw the official opening of a new outside play area in Freshlings Nursery, a sector leading early year’s education facility in the heart of Plymouth University.

The opening represents the culmination of a collaborative project involving the UCSP Early Education team, Plymouth University Architecture Students, Cornwall Based company Earth Wrights and the children of Freshlings Nursery. As early year’s manager, Vicky Smith explained;

“It is vitally important that our children have the opportunity to play, learn and develop in a safe outdoor setting. It was therefore fantastic to be able to involve them in the design process in order to ensure that the space, activities and play areas are exactly what will excite and inspire them.”

The project involved designing and building interactive play areas in a downstairs space, which is open to the air. In parallel, a cohort of Architecture students from Plymouth University conceptualised, designed and constructed an interactive outside area in the adjacent space. The funding for the project came from a Plymouth City Council Grant, matched by investment by UCSP ltd and supported by Plymouth University.012

Matt Hodson, UCSP’s Commercial Service Director said; “As a customer focussed organisation, we take huge amount of pride in the service that we offer and that extends to our very smallest customers. Seeing the children happy, relaxed, and engaged as they enjoy the new space is incredibly rewarding and gives our parents confidence that their sons and daughters are having the very best experiences on a daily basis.”

The nursery has been providing quality, OFSTED approved, childcare to the staff and students of Plymouth University for over 25 years and this development represents an ongoing commitment to the continual improvement of the service.

Chloe Rowland, a parent of one the nursery’s pre-school children said “My son and I have been watching the building progress with great interest and he is so excited at all the new things he can see have gone in down there. He’s really looking forward to being able to go in and have a play and regularly asks me when it will be finished. I think it all looks absolutely brilliant and it’s full of really interesting things for the kids to explore. I love the ‘natural’ look that comes with the use of the tree trunks, rope and sand and the inclusion of everyday objects like the milk cartons and the coloured wool in different contexts will fire the children’s imaginations. I think you’ve managed to totally transform the play area and maximise its potential on what was, let’s face it, a rather limited budget! 10 out of 10 from us!”