Transforming Spaces: Explore the Future of Public Sector Facilities Management

Discover the future of facilities management with our new integrated public sector facilities management. OCS and Atalian Servest merged in 2022, creating a public sector FM services powerhouse. With over 50 contracts and 7,400 colleagues across 1,150 estates, we offer a range of consistently delivered facilities management, including cleaning, catering, security, hard services, and logistics. From healthcare to education, we’re transforming spaces and making people and places the best they can be.

Watch our video and join us on this exciting journey!

OCS Partners with Love British Food to Celebrate British Produce

We are thrilled to announce that OCS is now an official partner of Love British Food, a dynamic grassroots-driven organisation dedicated to championing British produce. Our collaboration with Love British Food reflects our commitment to supporting local farmers, celebrating culinary heritage, and promoting sustainable food choices.

Why Choose British Food?

When you choose British food, you’re not only indulging in delicious flavours but also contributing to a more sustainable and resilient food system. Our partnership with Love British Food empowers us to support local farmers who play a vital role in maintaining the picturesque British countryside. When you choose British produce, you’re directly contributing to their livelihoods.

Climate-Friendly Recipes

We recognise the importance of sustainable practices. Our collaboration with Love British Food allows us to create climate-friendly recipes. By using seasonal produce, we reduce our environmental impact and promote a harmonious balance between food production and local cycles.

I’m excited to have the opportunity to champion and advocate for local produce that supports our farmers and bolsters the local economy. Love British Food is doing vital work not just protecting British suppliers but also pushing for better environmental practices in the food supply chain. I’m honoured to be a part of this.

Leigh Ashley

Contract Manager ‑ Public Sector

Meet Leigh Ashley: Our Love British Food Ambassador

Leigh Ashley, our Public Sector Contract Manager, has enthusiastically stepped forward as a Love British Food Ambassador. In this role, he represents OCS within the public sector, advocating for British food and building essential relationships with suppliers. Leigh’s passion for local produce aligns perfectly with our TRUE values.

Supporting the Local Economy

As a business headquartered in the UK, supporting the local economy is close to our hearts. Our recent participation in Great British Beef Week exemplifies our commitment. During this initiative, we shared a range of Red-Tractor-assured beef recipes, encouraging others to join us in celebrating British food.

On behalf of OCS, we are delighted to partner with Love British Food, our journey with them will see us promoting local economies, reducing carbon footprint through local supply chains and celebrating cultural heritage. We aim to improve awareness and make quality British produce available to all our customers.

Debbie Noakes

Support Director for Catering and Continuous Improvement

A World FM Day Celebration: Victoria Thursfield, Account Director

Victoria Thursfield, in her role as the Account Director on OCS’s Government Property Agency (GPA) contract, holds a pivotal position overseeing critical sites for the UK government. Notably, she is responsible for managing key locations. Victoria’s career spans diverse industries and countries, and she has worked with high-profile clientele. We sat down with Victoria to delve into her professional journey thus far, exploring the factors that have shaped her career as a woman in the challenging field of hard services.

Victoria’s entry into the facilities management (FM) business was serendipitous. Her career trajectory began in the catering industry, with a graduate job at Compass and a stint at the food chain Pret-A-Manger. Her rapid ascent within Pret-A-Manger led her to establish the business in Hong Kong, where she spent three years. “We needed to be quite self-sufficient because you didn’t have the support of the UK business. I think that was a good grounding for then working in FM,” she recalls.

Upon her return to the UK, Victoria’s CV found its way to the desk of a managing director of a leading FM business. This marked her foray into the FM world, where she initially managed the retail sector. As she gained experience and made her mark within the company, she took on more accounts, eventually leading her to engineering, marking a new chapter in her career. Despite not being an engineer herself, Victoria pursued an interest she always knew was there. “My father is a civil engineer, so I think there’s always been a bit of interest there,” she shares.

OCS Facilities Services

Victoria has spent a total of 19 years within the FM industry, strengthening and developing her expertise, and building a strong network. She joined OCS in October 2023, where she now oversees the technical services contract for GPA. She thrives on the dynamism of the FM industry, stating, “No day is ever the same.” On joining OCS she says, “I’ve now been here six months and I can tell it’s ultimately about the people, OCS say people are at the heart of what they do and that feels true, you know, OCS delivers its values throughout. Despite my short time here, I feel like my voice will be heard, which is quite comforting. To be so new in a significantly significant sized company, I still feel I have influence and will be listened to and that’s a valuable thing.” She also particularly enjoys setting up new teams and developing people, a task she is currently undertaking on the GPA contract.

However, Victoria’s switch to engineering has not been without its challenges. As a woman in a male-dominated field, she often found herself the only woman in the room. Despite this, she credits her supportive and receptive teams for helping her navigate these challenges. She remains hopeful and proactive in recruiting more women into hard services, working with social value practitioners and attending career fairs to promote hard services as a career option for young women.

In her current role within the hard services division, Victoria is excited about the future of OCS. “I think we have some very challenging and ambitious targets and it’s quite an exciting time to join,” she says. She wants women curious about hard services to know that there’s nothing stopping them from diving in. “It’s not all about knowing how a fan coil unit works, or what happens in a plant room, it’s about not being afraid to ask questions,” she advises.

Victoria’s journey is a testament to her resilience and adaptability. From her early days in the catering industry to her current role in FM, she has consistently demonstrated her ability to thrive in new environments and take on challenges head-on. Her story serves as an inspiration for women looking to break barriers in traditionally male-dominated fields.

Revolutionising Facilities Management: A Data-Driven Approach

Data has emerged as the new currency across many industries but has become especially significant in the world of facilities management, with its continued effort to modernise and optimise building management technology. Data holds the key to unlocking efficiency and driving tangible results, with data-driven decision-making in FM practices can be transformed drastically. 

1. Harnessing Current Condition Data

Facilities are more than just physical structures; they are dynamic ecosystems. By collecting accurate asset data—details about equipment, maintenance history, and condition—we can make informed decisions about the asset, such as life remaining, maintenance interventions, and replacements.

One crucial metric is the Facility Condition Index (FCI), defined as the ratio of the current year’s required renewal cost to the current building replacement value. A facility with an FCI score above 10% is considered to be in poor condition. FCIs serve as a health check for assets, providing a holistic view that enables long-term planning and strategic asset management.

2. Decoding Energy Consumption Patterns

Energy costs form a significant portion of FM budgets. With the built environment accounting for 59% of the UK’s electricity consumption, optimising energy usage through data analytics is crucial. Consumption patterns help identify when energy-consuming equipment, such as lighting or HVAC, activate and de-activate, and highlight peaks in energy demand.

This information can guide decisions on how equipment should be controlled, timed, and operated. Additionally, anomalies can be identified and investigated to understand whether energy is being wasted due to defective equipment or faulty control settings.

The use of smart meters, historical consumption patterns, and real-time monitoring empowers FM sites to control their energy consumption effectively. The potential impact? Reduced energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

3. The Power of Predictive Maintenance

Waiting for equipment to fail is both costly and disruptive. Predictive maintenance models, fuelled by real-time data, allow for intervention before breakdowns occur. This approach not only optimises asset health and predicts failures, but also extends the useful life of your assets through a strategy that prioritises repairs and replacements. This could decrease costs by 12% and extend the lifespan of an aging asset by 20%.

4. Optimising Space Utilisation Metrics

Space is a precious resource. Analysing occupancy trends, peak hours, and spatial efficiency can guide flexible workspace design and enhance the employee experience. Space utilisation measures what’s actually happening in the office, providing granularity that other occupancy data sources like badge check-ins and employee surveys can’t.

By spending less on utilities in underutilised spaces and only investing in workspaces employees will actually use, costs can be cut. Better office design that aligns with work habits and work style preferences can improve the workplace experience. Furthermore, real estate portfolios can be optimised by making data-driven decisions regarding architectural design, office layout, and resizing.

Conclusion

In the dynamic world of FM, smart data utilisation is the key to unlocking efficiency and driving tangible results. By harnessing the power of data, we can revolutionise FM practices and create a more sustainable, efficient, and productive future.

Ready to harness the potential of data-driven solutions in facilities management?

Explore how our advanced technology leverages data to optimise operations and enhance performance.

A World FM Day Celebration: Carl Gage, Regional Director, Hard Services

Carl is one of the Regional Directors within Technical Services that sits within the overall OCS Hard Services Business, responsible and accountable for six key customers across a number of services.

As part of our World FM Day celebrations, we are doing a deep dive into Carl’s FM career, to provide insight into the industry and inspire the next generation of FM professionals.

Carl’s entry into FM was varied, from catering in the military to becoming a Health and Safety Advisor, following his father’s footsteps. Eventually, Carl quickly moved into operations, which he has worked in for 8 years of his 12-year career in FM. “I have been extremely fortunate in my career to date and have been given some fantastic opportunities which I have grasped with both hands”. 

The world of FM is different every single day, but the main benefits are that you get to work with talented and like-minded colleagues and customers. What inspires Carl to work in FM is that many people bring so many different skills and experience which makes for a great team. “Every day is a learning experience which enables us to work smarter for our customers ultimately making the experience for their end users better each day”.

OCS gave Carl opportunities to grow by giving him autonomy and the ability to influence change, two crucial factors in facilitating career growth. 

“OCS is a fast-paced business and is growing all the time, which means the opportunities to grow come thick and fast which I will always take and run with”.

Carl’s key advice for anyone looking to get into FM would be to be open-minded, take nothing for granted and grasp all the opportunities that come your way. A career in FM has endless possibilities and many different paths that can be taken.

In Carl’s opinion, the future innovations in FM will vary from automation, data analytics, and many more, which will all impact our customers positively, but ultimately one thing to remember is that what makes FM so unique are the people that deliver the service to our customers. “Our people ultimately are the ones that make our customer experience greater daily. That is one of the reasons I’m passionate about OCS’s TRUE Values”. 

OCS Facilities Services

A World FM Day Celebration: Tony Parkinson, Sector Director, Hard Services

 Tony is responsible for directing the Technical Services division within OCS, which has 1,000 team members delivering planned and reactive maintenance across a range of contracts and buildings throughout the UK.

As part of our World FM Day celebrations, we are doing a deep dive into Tony’s FM career and journey, to provide insight into the industry and inspire the next generation of FM professionals.

From a young age, Tony had taken a keen interest in physical elements and how things worked. This led him to start his career as an electrical engineer, he then worked his way into management in his early 20s. Naturally, Tony’s career progressed into the FM industry to lead large and diverse teams for over 25 years. Tony’s most recent experience has been supporting growth strategies including the evaluation and mobilisation of new opportunities in the UK and our global regions.

“Our customers are committed to ensuring they have safe, efficient, and pleasurable buildings for their end customers and employees. This drives the FM industry to be an innovative market and suits my desire for advancement and making a difference in the environment”. Tony has been fortunate to work with inspirational teams who make a huge difference to our customers’ buildings and enforce the moves towards a more sustainable and ethical future.

“OCS has a positive people culture and has empowered me to manage my business and ultimately our customer requirements and promises”.

Tony saw OCS as an innovator, pushing high-quality service delivery at our customer sites, and overall OCS has the scale and drive to reach ambitious growth targets.

FM is a wide and diverse arena, and future FM professionals should spend time considering what elements excite them the most and aim for the vocational and academic path that suits their needs. My advice would be to start with a specialist area to focus on and gain the FM experience whether soft or hard services or wider support functions such as commercial, financial or procurement”.

OCS Facilities Services

Tony sees three key innovations as part of the future of FM; Automation, data analytics and building intelligence.We have strong targets to help the government and customers meet their strategic carbon reduction commitments. These commitments need a solid understanding of data to support the investment into smarter, more efficient buildings. In turn, this will also ensure space is managed effectively and aligns with core requirements of FM”

Class Dismissed: The Culinary Classroom class of 2023-24 takes a bow! 

The Culinary Classroom cohort for this year have concluded their final session, marking the culmination of a transformative 10-month programme. Throughout this period, chefs from diverse sectors within our business engaged in a comprehensive culinary learning journey, emphasising the acquisition of a renewed understanding, respect, and appreciation for the origins of our food. 

Monthly modules, spanning various culinary disciplines, covered topics ranging from vertical farming techniques that conserve water to recipes with reduced carbon footprint. The curriculum also delved into the art of breadmaking, the intricacies and artistry of chocolatier skills, the nuances of butchering, and immersive experiences like road shows and street food safaris. These sessions, orchestrated by our catering executive development team, addressed vital aspects of the catering business, like hospitality, menu planning, and financial awareness. As a result, the chefs emerging from this programme not only possess a heightened appreciation for the journey of food from farm to fork but also wield the essential tools for business success.

This initiative stands as a testament to OCS’s commitment to investing in our people, ensuring the longevity of their careers by arming them with invaluable lessons and tools. The penultimate module was a practical class on pasta-making, covering handmade pasta, egg pasta, gnocchi, and risotto.  

After acquiring a solid foundation in pasta, gnocchi, and risotto cookery, our culinary classroom chefs were entrusted with the challenge of crafting original recipes based on their observations and learning. The chefs were organised into teams, with pasta machines securely affixed to the tables, and engaged in the enjoyable process of rolling out their pasta doughs. The kitchen became a hub of creativity, witnessing a dynamic exchange of ideas among our chefs as they collaboratively developed fresh pasta dishes brimming with flavour. To acknowledge their successful completion of the Culinary Classroom programme, each participant was presented with an engraved kitchen knife, symbolising their proficiency and growth throughout the programme. 

I’ve had an amazing experience and gained so much knowledge over the past 10 months. I really appreciate Matt Vernon and Matt Chapman from the development team hosting this fantastic course and I’m truly grateful for the gift. The culinary classroom has built my confidence within the kitchen immensely. Everybody on the culinary classroom programmer is such lovely and genuine people; I’ve taken away invaluable experience from their support too!

Zoe Boland

Chef Manager, Marshalls Park Academy

The concluding module featured an exhilarating day immersed in road shows and exploring renowned street food hubs. Here, our chefs gained invaluable firsthand experience of the business process from the customer’s perspective. This hands-on encounter provided insights into crucial elements such as pricing, presentation, and marketing strategies, all while indulging in the delectable offerings of diverse global cuisines from Jamaica to South America. 

What lies ahead for our Culinary Classroom graduates? In the final class, they attended the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering show. This annual event hosts the esteemed International Salon Culinaire competition, where top chefs from around the catering world gather to compete in various categories. Our Culinary Classroom students have now been introduced to this prestigious competition, and our chef development team will mentor them as they prepare to compete in 2025. Additionally, they will actively participate in mentoring and collaborating with the chef development team to lead regional skill-based workshops, contributing to the training of new and existing colleagues across OCS Food Co. 

Congratulations to the 23/24 cohort!  

I’ve had the opportunity to visit different suppliers all over the UK and meet many great people along the way. It’s been a great experience to be part of the culinary classroom, I wish we could have even more classes! Matt has been very helpful throughout and encouraged me to enter our 2023 Chef of the Year competition in which I proudly reached the final. I’m going to miss the culinary classroom; I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m proud to have formed long-lasting relationships with my colleagues

Fernando Murillo

DHL in Slough

I’ve enjoyed meeting other chefs from different sites and developing my understanding of cookery, as well as the wider business. If I were to sum up the culinary classroom in one word, I would have to say – refreshing.

Dan Price

Ocado in Andover

Celebrating Great British Beef Week

Great British Beef Week (GBBW), now in its 14th year, is a nationwide campaign that celebrates the versatility and exceptional taste of British beef. Founded by the women’s farming group, Ladies in Beef, GBBW aims to highlight the goodness and flavour of properly sourced British beef. The commitment and dedication of British beef farmers to sustainable practices are also emphasised during this week. 

At the heart of GBBW is the recognition of British beef’s quality, which is why all the beef used in our featured recipes during GBBW will be Red Tractor-assured. This assurance guarantees the utmost care for the animals and provides essential support to our British farmers. 

As part of the celebration, we’re using our British beef to create a menu featuring dishes from across the globe, reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of OCS. Our Angel Hill catering brand will be showcasing dishes that demonstrate the diverse ways beef can be used. Here’s a glimpse of what’s on our menu: 

  • Cured Beef Brisket ‘Roast Dinner’ Yorkshire Pudding Wrap: A delightful fusion of traditional British flavours wrapped in a Yorkshire pudding, perfect for those on the go. 
  • Beef, Leek & Swede Cumberland Pie: A comforting classic with a twist, combining the richness of British beef with the earthy flavours of leeks and swede. 
  • Spiced Moroccan Beef Meatballs, Roasted Veg, and Homemade Flatbread: A blend of spices meets succulent beef meatballs, served alongside roasted vegetables and warm flatbread. 
  • Beef Keema Aloo with Coriander Citrus Rice: A vibrant Indian-inspired dish featuring spiced minced beef and fragrant coriander citrus rice. 
  • Chilli Beef Taco Pizza: A Tex-Mex delight where crispy taco shells meet pizza toppings, including zesty beef chili. 
  • Polish-Style Beef Patties (Kotlety): A nod to Poland, these hearty beef patties are seasoned to perfection. 

We look forward to serving these dishes to our customers across the nation to highlight the exceptional quality of British beef. Join us this Great British Beef Week to savour the taste of naturally delicious beef from our isles and explore its culinary possibilities! 

Dive into GBBW with this mouth-watering recipe for our classic Cumberland pie, perfect for sharing with friends and family:

Beef, Leek and Swede Cumberland Pie – serves 12

Ingredients

  • 6 x Leeks, white part diced, green part sliced and kept separate
  • 2 x large Carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 x Celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp x baking fat
  • 2tbsp x Veg oil
  • 2kg x Minced Beef
  • 400g x bacon, cut into lardons
  • 80g x Plain Flour
  • 10 x Thyme sprigs
  • 4tbsp x Worcestershire sauce
  • 2.5ltr x Beef bouillon
  • 2kg x Swede, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 700g x Washed White Potatoes
  • 50g x Baking Fat
  • 200ml x Milk
  • 50g x Grated Mature Cheddar
  • 50g x Natural Breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180°C
  2. Place the leeks, carrots and celery into a medium sized pan and saute over a low heat to cook without colouring in the baking fat and oil
  3. In another large pan, brown off the minced beef, cooking in small batches to keep it brown without it steaming in the pan, breaking up the mince as it cooks
  4. When the vegetables have softened, stir in the bacon and turn up the heat, cooking until everything is golden
  5. Stir in the minced beef, followed by the flour, half of the thyme sprigs and the Worcestershire sauce
  6. Slowly stir in the beef bouillon and bring to a simmer
  7. Transfer to a deep gastro tray and place in the oven
  8. Cook for 2 hours until the sauce is thickened and rich and the beef is tender.
  9. Halfway the cooking time stir in the leek greens and continue to cook
  10. While the beef is cooking, place the swede and potatoes into two separate pans
  11. Cover them both with cold water, bring to the boil, and simmer until tender
  12. Drain both well and tip them back into the pans, place on a low heat to steam dry for a minute or two
  13. When they are dry, place them in one pan and mash until smooth with the baking fat and milk
  14. Once the beef is ready, transfer to a serving dish, discard the thyme sprigs, and cover with the mashed mix, either pipe or fluff the mix with a fork
  15. Rub the cheddar into the breadcrumbs, chop the remaining thyme and add into the crumb mix
  16. Sprinkle the mix over the swede potato mix and place back into the oven increasing the heat to 200°C
  17. Bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.

OCS Secures 7-Year Extension for Facilities Management Services with SCTS and COPFS 

We’re thrilled to announce that we have secured a 7-year contract (with options for the customers to extend for up to another 2 years) to provide total facilities management services to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). These services span a combined 74 sites. SCTS is an independent body that provides administrative support to the Scottish Courts, devolved tribunals and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The COPFS is Scotland’s prosecution service and death investigation authority.

This new contract follows a previous 6-year contract from 2017 to 2023, with an added extension to June 2024. It strengthens a relationship that has lasted over 13 years. The core services provided include cleaning, maintenance services, security and projects.

The latest contract award is a testament to our consistent service provision. We won the contract through a competitive tender process, with SCTS and COPFS choosing to continue their association with us as we emerged as the best solution for their varied site needs.

Following a competitive tendering process we have decided to continue our partnership with OCS. Their consistent excellence in service delivery, their innovative approach to sustainability and their commitment to social responsibility were key in our decision. Our historic sites present a unique challenge and we are pleased to work with them again to further reduce carbon emissions building on significant reductions over recent years. We believe OCS will continue to provide the best support for our facilities management needs over the next seven years.

Kate Leer

Director – Property & Services Unit, Scottish Courts and Tribunals Services

Of the sites managed by SCTS and COPFS, 44% were established before 1960 and 86% of those before 1900, classifying them as historical listed sites. We face the challenge of maintaining and future-proofing these sites, making them more eco-friendly while preserving their historical significance. In 2023, we completed 15 sustainability projects across the estate and helped COPFS secure £10.8 million in funding for retrofitting and decarbonising their buildings. We also surpassed its 15% carbon emission reduction target for SCTS, achieving a remarkable 27% reduction instead. 

As part of the new contract, we will implement our smart building technology, ABi to better monitor carbon emissions and optimise site productivity. We also plan to employ more cleaning robotics to streamline cleaning processes. When it comes to security, we implement a “target zero accident” approach, focusing on proactive and de-escalation techniques to prevent accidents and ensure no harm comes to staff, clients, and the public. 

In terms of social responsibility, we will continue to support Scottish Autism and Women’s Refuge, two charities active in the communities served by this contract. Scottish Autism is the largest provider of autism-specific services in Scotland and Women’s Refuge is the UK’s largest specialist domestic abuse organisation. Additionally, we will support grassroots football teams and introduce volunteer days for managers and supervisors every year. 

We are thrilled to be continuing our relationship with SCTS and COPFS for another seven years. Our shared commitment to service excellence, sustainability, and social responsibility has been the cornerstone of our partnership, and we look forward to building upon this legacy in the years to come.

Colin Rushforth

Account Director

OCS Royal Papworth Hospital Team Nominated for Partnership Award

We’re excited to announce that our team at Royal Papworth, alongside our partners at Equitix, Skanska, and Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Trust, has been nominated for a Partnership Award in the “Best Operational – Healthcare” category.

Royal Papworth Hospital is recognised as the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital, treating approximately 50,000 patients each year. Since the hospital opened in 2019, our on-site team has been providing integrated soft services such as catering, cleaning, portering and security.

This nomination recognises our consistently delivered service and sustainable partnership with our clients and other facility management providers on-site.  Through exceeding expectations with transparent service delivery, the OCS team at Royal Papworth successfully navigated a rigorous review process in 2023. Recognising the close working relationships and dedicated efforts the OCS team have put in since service commencement, this process ensured continued excellence in service with no disruption.

We were delighted to note the inclusion in the nomination of multiple examples of positive patient and staff feedback related to our services, which is a testament to the OCS team’s hard work.

Working collaboratively, the teams at Royal Papworth have established the Team Royal Papworth Hospital Charter and a Joint Efficiency Group. This group meets quarterly to address recurring challenges, share insights, and offer valuable advice demonstrating flexibility and enabling continuous improvement opportunities through a partnership approach.

This nomination is a great honour and a testament to our commitment to quality service, effective partnerships, and the dedication of our team. We’re thrilled to have been recognised this way and we’re eager for the announcement on the 2nd of May. Good luck to all our fellow nominees!

Lindsey Coles

Support Director

The charter, based on Excellence, Collaboration, Communication, and Compassion, directs their collaborative work. By fostering transparency with industry partners and key stakeholders within the Trust, the OCS team has tailored their services to the unique needs of the facilities and their users.

Congratulations to the Royal Papworth Team. We look forward to the announcement of the winners on Thursday 2 May. 

Nourishing Minds: Education Catering Focused on Improving Learning and Well-being

Nutrition is essential for learning and growth. We take the responsibility of nourishing young minds seriously, diligently and carefully considering how food impacts cognitive learning, focus, energy levels, and growth. According to a study published in PubMed, students are 18% more likely to be on-task i.e. concentrated and alert, following tailored modifications to food provisions. This displays the positive effect of high-fibre foods and increased fruit and vegetable intake on students’ cognitive learning levels. This is why we carefully select every ingredient in our catering service for the education sector, to enable students and faculty to be the best they can be.

Surpassing standards

Our catering service delivers nutrient-dense foods to students and staff. We adhere to UK government food standards, and each menu item is reviewed by our team of nutritionists to ensure it not only meets but exceeds school nutrition standards. At a minimum, our service fulfils the standard quotas of fresh fruit and vegetables, starchy foods, required portions of meats, poultry and oily fish, while strictly limiting high-fat, salt, and sugar foods.

Initiatives to push good food

Of course, our efforts do not stop there. We understand that making people and places the best they can be requires consistent effort. Therefore, we have established several partnerships and internal initiatives that we integrate as part of our service delivery.

We go above and beyond, taking part in VEGPOWER’s ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’ campaign, which encourages children to eat more fruit and vegetables. We support this campaign across all our primary school locations to help children reach their five-a-day goal.

Understanding the importance of promoting healthy eating and providing nourishing food, our nutrition team developed a PSCA-shortlisted initiative, ‘Goodness’. This robust campaign was established to communicate the value of proper nutrition, debunk food fads, and reintroduce fun into healthy eating. Goodness Lessons, tailored for students from year 1 to year 13, provide complimentary sessions to enhance the impact of our service delivery. In 2023, the focus was ‘Food and Mood,’ with ‘Sugar Awareness’ lessons scheduled for 2024. These lessons, which reached 1,085 pupils over 39 sessions, engage students with fun activities that increase their understanding of the benefits of fruits, vegetables, wholegrain starchy carbohydrates, and reducing sugary foods.

We also provide informative fact sheets to the parents and guardians of students who have taken part in the lessons, offering nutrition tips and healthier food swaps that can be made at home. Our nutrition team covers topics like plant-based diets, sports nutrition, and nutrition careers, and delivers bespoke lessons on topics such as micronutrients and age-related dietary needs.

Nutritious vegetables, nutrition and good food

A holistic approach to healthy eating

Our skilled and passionate chefs run a Junior Chefs Club onsite at the schools we serve, specifically designed for those students who are interested in the art of cooking. This innovative club is more than just a fun extracurricular activity; it’s an enriching educational experience where students are taught to prepare wholesome, nutritious foods that meet their dietary needs. We believe in fostering a healthy relationship with food from a young age, and our Junior Chefs Club does exactly that by promoting the importance of balanced meals. Furthermore, we ensure that all our young chefs are acquainted with safe cooking practices, instilling a sense of responsibility and safety awareness that goes hand in hand with their culinary skills.

We are committed to educating students on the principles of healthy eating, and we work to provide them with food options that are not only nutritious but also appealing to their taste buds. We believe that by introducing them to various wholesome meals, we can instil an appreciation for a balanced diet and help shape their future eating habits. This commitment is reflected in our catering service. We encourage you to explore more about our brand, its philosophy, and how we are making a difference in students’ lives through our culinary efforts.

“We’re really proud of the food we provide to students. We recognise that children are the architects of our future, and proper nutrition plays a pivotal role in their growth and development, helping them become the best versions of themselves. It goes beyond simply serving meals; it’s about fostering a deep understanding of the nutritional value of different foods on the brain, body and gut. Our Goodness initiative, combined with the dedication of our chefs, ensures a holistic approach to nourishing and empowering these young minds.”

Iona Hudson

OCS Nutritionist

Bronze to Silver: Our Food for Life Journey Towards Healthier, Sustainable Catering

Achieving Excellence

We are thrilled to announce that our Food for Life Served Here award at our KBR customer site has been upgraded from Bronze to Silver. This remarkable achievement was accomplished in less than a year, thanks to the tireless efforts of our dedicated on-site catering team.

The Food for Life Served Here is an independent recognition given to catering companies. This accolade signifies that our menu offerings meet certain high standards, confirming our commitment to serving fresh and honest food. Our team of trained chefs are passionate about their ingredients’ provenance and are committed to promoting healthy eating choices

I would like to congratulate OCS at KBR on their upgrade to Silver Food for Life Served Here certification. The upgrade took place within a year of gaining Bronze, a fantastic achievement. All of us at Soil Association are proud to be supporting the clear commitment to sourcing and serving food that is better for climate, nature and health.

Caron Logden

Head of Business Development, Healthy and Sustainable Diets at the Soil Association

We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of the OCS catering team at KBR. Their commitment to providing fresh, healthy meals that respect the environment and prioritise animal welfare has been recognized with the upgrade to Silver. This recognition assures our employees that they can find excellent nutritional options right here onsite. This upgrade also takes KBR a step further to achieving its zero harm and sustainability goals. Congratulations to the catering team on this well-deserved achievement.

Duncan Knapp

Senior Manager, Facility Operations at KBR Ltd

Levelling Up

With the Bronze level, we guaranteed the welfare of animals, prepared 75% of our dishes fresh on site, and catered to a variety of cultural and dietary needs, including vegan, halal, and kosher options.

The upgrade to the Silver level means we have met even higher standards. We’ve reduced salt, used ethically sourced palm oil or eliminated it completely, and ensured our produce is sustainably sourced. Our menus now feature at least 5% organic produce, sourced from farms that prioritise the protection of natural resources such as fresh water and wildlife, and uphold high animal welfare standards. Furthermore, our food is free from genetically modified ingredients, hydrogenated fats, and most artificial additives and preservatives.

Achieving this milestone in under a year reflects our concerted efforts, diligent work, and beneficial partnerships with Leaf-certified and Red Tractor-assured suppliers. The award is another significant step in our support for our customer’s zero harm and sustainability goals in conjunction with the efforts made in this area by the wider site-based teams.

We’re thrilled to have achieved such a milestone in under a year thanks to the constant work of our chefs and team who build important partnerships with our suppliers, putting great care and consideration into our supply chain and cooking practices. This Silver upgrade indicates our continued progress towards providing healthy and sustainable catering services.
Even as we celebrate this step, we’re setting our sights on achieving gold!

Chris Ashmore

Business Director, OCS

food for life silver catering award

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