Wimbledon's YMCA Cafe Is First To Get Healthy Catering Award

Demonstrates commitment to healthier options

The café at YMCA Wimbledon is the first business in Merton to fulfil all of the 24 essential and desired (optional) criteria in the Healthier Catering Commitment for London scheme.

This is a voluntary scheme for restaurants, takeaways, sandwich bars and other caterers in London who demonstrate a commitment to offering healthier options.

Businesses that fulfil the criteria are given a certificate and window sticker to promote their achievements.

Sarah Carvell, Chef and Catering Manager at YMCA Wimbledon, said: "Being a part of the Healthier Catering Commitment for London is important to YMCA London South West for several reasons. Firstly, because it fits with the YMCA ethos to help people live healthy lives. Secondly, it is about giving people choices and ensuring healthy food is affordable and available. Also, by committing to this scheme we are staying on top of the current trends and development in the catering business.

“We are very proud to be the first business in Merton to fulfil all of the 24 essential and desired criteria. Most of this we did already, but some of the optional recommendations we took on board following the inspection from the council.

“It’s not about taking away people’s freedom of choice, but rather about encouraging them to make more healthy choices when purchasing foods and drinks.

“For instance, we are displaying more of the healthier options like fresh salads by the counter, and we have removed the salt shakers from the tables. Most of the changes however, are not noticeable to the customer and they certainly don’t affect how the food tastes. All the feedback we’ve had has been positive, especially when people hear why we are doing it.”

Merton’s Director of Public Health, Dr Kay Eilbert, said:

“Over 20 businesses in the borough have signed up the Healthier Catering Commitment and we want more to do the same. Making a few minor changes to the way meals are prepared for members of the public and offering smaller portion sizes can go a long way to reducing health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.”

YMCA Wimbledon has previously received their Healthier Catering Commitment award in 2012. Following a general overhaul of the scheme and the addition of new criteria, Merton Council is now in the process of renewing the awards for all food and catering businesses in the borough.

November 27, 2015