University of Birmingham

The University Caterers Organisation (@TUCOltd) has seen a boost in its membership numbers and a return of a former member as a result of its industry-leading response to COVID-19.

Eleven new members including NHS Trusts, County Councils, and further educational establishments, have joined TUCO since the country went into lockdown in March. The University of Birmingham made the decision to re-join the organisation in order to access TUCO’s networking capabilities and ensure its staff had access to the TUCO Academy, the outstanding provider of learning and development for TUCO members.

Mike Haslin, CEO, TUCO, said:

“Covid had a huge impact on our industry. We acted quickly to support our members through our award-winning procurement services by helping them purchase catering commodities and to meet any new necessary health and safety requirements. We also helped our members support one another as a community through the online TUCO Forum and by taking the TUCO Academy online, we ensured that our members could continue to upskill their workforce and empower their employees, despite the restrictions placed on them as a result of the pandemic.”

Fiona Wilke, Interim Director of Catering, University of Birmingham, said:

“We are delighted to be part of the #TUCOfamily once again, their support and advice as well as their focus on learning excellence really resonates with us and the team is excited about working with TUCO now and in the future.”

The #TUCOfamily, as it is fondly known, have come together more than ever during these unprecedented times through the TUCO Forum that can be accessed via tuco.ac.uk. The Forum acts as an extension of member’s ‘office’ support network. Members share ideas, ask for advice from their peers and discuss industry issues and trends. Discussions are separated into different sections such as ‘Procurement’ and ‘Sustainability’ so it is easy to find a topic that is relevant. Once a member asks a question through the forum it is easy to see the responses in clear chronological order, rather than having to hunt through a busy inbox of emails.

TUCO members are continuing to access the TUCO Academy’s free series of webinars. Its e-learning library is still active, courtesy of TUCO’s partnership with Upskill People. TUCO wants to ensure that members continue to develop professionally during this time, but it is also dedicated to providing members with wellbeing strategies to help them cope during these challenging times.

“We are delighted to welcome back the University of Birmingham; it reaffirms for us our position as the first-choice provider for learning and development within the industry. The ability of the sector to rapidly adapt to change and its renewed appetite for collaboration will continue to serve the sector well into the future. As a not-forprofit organisation we are owned by our members which means we only ever act in their best interests. I think by really listening to our members and by going above and beyond their expectations, we have created a truly winning formula. It is this that is attracting so much new interest from the sector at the current time.” Added Haslin.

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