MBE for school meals training officer

A TRAINING officer who works for Cambridgeshire Catering Services has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list published on Saturday (June 16).

Mary Bliszczak joined the Cambridgeshire school meals service in 1976 as a Catering Assistant in Peterborough before becoming the School Caterer at Orton Longueville School. During this time she completed her City and Guilds qualification at Peterborough College on day release and in 1983 progressed into the role of Area Supervisor.

In 1991 Mary moved into the role of Training Officer for Cambridgeshire Catering Service (CCS) and six years ago was promoted to her present role of Training Co-ordinator. With her team, Mary delivers craft, theory and all mandatory courses.

In addition, she develops training programmes for a variety of internal courses which take place at the CCS training kitchen in Huntingdon. Mary’s responsibilities also include menu planning and recipe testing.

In addition to her role at CCS, Mary has worked at many different catering establishments in Peterborough in the evenings and at weekends. She has also taught Food Safety at Peterborough City College Saturday school.

Cllr David Brown, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services said: “I am delighted that Mary has been recognised in this way. It’s the unsung heroes of the County Council – people like Mary - who do so much work behind the scenes for the people of Cambridgeshire.

“I hope this award will serve as an inspiration not only to school caterers throughout Cambridgeshire, but also to the many County Council staff who work so hard and so selflessly for our residents.”