Kate Nicholls made an OBE in New Year Honours that recognise hospitality heroes

30 December 2020 by
Kate Nicholls made an OBE in New Year Honours that recognise hospitality heroes

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has been made an OBE in a New Year Honours list that has recognised hospitality figures who have made significant contributions during the Covid pandemic.

Chefs Margot and Fergus Henderson (who was awarded an MBE in 2005) also received OBEs for services to culinary arts, while Tanya Ednan-Laperouse received the honour for her work as co-founder of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation following the tragic death of her daughter.

Nicholls, who received the 2020 Cateys Special Award, was recognised for services to the hospitality sector, particularly during the Covid pandemic when she has presented the challenges facing hospitality businesses in clear and sometimes stark terms to government and been instrumental in the support the sector has received.

She said: "This year has been one of continued despair and heartbreak for hard-pressed hospitality businesses. They were hit first and hit hardest by the pandemic but, despite this, there have been countless inspirational examples of leadership, resilience and collaboration, of people coming together to support their local communities during this unprecedented time, helping to feed frontline NHS and key workers, the homeless and support others in need. It is those values that make me proud to have represented and been part of such a wonderful sector for many years."

Nicholls added that the focus was to press the government for additional financial support.

In recognition of the response by the hospitality supply chain during the Covid pandemic, MBEs have been awarded to Jim Gouldie and Steve Clarke from Bidfood, and Alex Mayfield and Richard Sercombe from Brakes.

Bidfood chief executive Andrew Selley said that Gouldie and Clarke had worked "night and day" to ensure the continuity of food supply across hospitals, schools and local councils.

Clarke said: "I would like to highlight all our colleagues and the role each and every person played in making things happen and ultimately, in making a real difference to many people's lives during 2020."

Brakes' Mayfield, who along with Sercombe played a pivital role in rolling out a programme to provide food boxes to the clinically vulnerable during lockdown, said: "This has been a difficult year for everyone, but particularly the hospitality industry. The food box scheme for the vulnerable shielded allowed all of us at Brakes to show our resilience and capabilities at the most difficult time. To be recognised for my contribution in creating the scheme is humbling and amazing."

Further MBEs were awarded to Caroline Halfhide, who runs the Bell in Ash, Somerset, for turning her pub into a village shop to minimise the requirement for locals to travel; fellow publican Richard Curtis, from the Portsmouth Arms in Basingstoke, for services to charity and the community in Hampshire during the Covid-19 response; Denise Hunt, from the Londonderry Arms hotel in County Antrim; and Compass national domestic manager Anna Hallas for her work with the NHS.

Meanwhile, Richard Ord, who owns two restaurants in South Shields, was awarded an MBE. He is the fourth generation of his family to have served at Colmans Fish & Chips, which was the first MSC certified fish and chip shop in England.

Ord, who has worked in the family business for 50 years, said: "The fish and chip industry has progressed hugely over the years, it's much more environmentally aware and professional than when I first started. And, contrary to belief, fish and chips are far better now than what they were 50 years ago."

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