The Acklam Green Centre has received an award for its contribution to the health and wellbeing of local people.

Café Connect, located in the atrium of the Middlesbrough based business and community centre, has been awarded Middlesbrough Borough Council’s Food4Health Gold Award which recognises and rewards food businesses that offer healthy food options and promote healthy eating.

The awards consider the types of foods and ingredients used by restaurants, cafes and other venues where food is consumed, such as school and college canteens, across the Borough.  Food4Health also takes into account how food is prepared and cooked, and how the business goes about promoting their offer.

Café Connect provides catering menus for clients using Acklam Green Centre’s meeting and events facilities and it also provides an eat-in and take-away service for the centre’s tenants and members of the public.  Over the past few months it has reinforced its commitment to healthy eating by switching to low salt, cutting out dressings, using low fat products such as mayonnaise and margarine instead of butter, offering small portions and using spray oils and low fat milk.   The changes follow the introduction of revamped menus in January and a three month period where customer feedback was encouraged, which also influenced the changes.

At the end of 2016 both the Acklam Green Centre and its sister venue the Resource Centre, which also benefits from Café Connect’s catering offer, became ‘breastfeeding welcome’ venues which also helped contribute to the award.

Donna Smith, facilities manager at Acklam Green Centre, said: “We already had good menu offerings for both the café and in-house catering but in line with the award guidelines and in response to customer feedback we have now added some healthier options to give people a choice.

“We’re delighted to have achieved Food4Health Gold which recognises our continued commitment to the promotion of healthy eating and will continue to work towards the principles and respond to customer feedback.”

Laura Kemp, Public Health Officer at Middlesbrough Council, who oversees the Food4Health programme, said: “The Gold Award recognises the commitment made by food outlets to ensure the food available is nutritionally balanced, allowing customers to make fully informed food choices.

“Acklam Green Centre is one of many businesses across Middlesbrough that have embraced the Food4Health scheme and I’ve been impressed with their commitment to the promotion of healthy eating.”

Food4Health comprises three awards: Bronze, Silver and Gold.  Each award considers the types of foods and ingredients used, how food is prepared and cooked, and how the business promotes healthy eating. Awards are free and businesses working towards achieving an award receive advice and support on nutrition and healthy catering practices.

For further information about Café Connect and the Acklam Green Centre contact tel: 01642 811 121 or email: info@acklam-green-centre.com