An Edinburgh College curriculum leader has won a prestigious industry award after inspiring thousands of school pupils to consider cookery and hospitality careers.
Hospitality curriculum leader Mandy Purdie bagged the Lecturer of the Year award at the Business Women Scotland Women in Hospitality Awards held at the Waldorf Astoria in the capital last night.
Mandy’s success follows a year working closely with schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians in an attempt to bring cookery and hospitality principles to pupils in schools where home economics provision is lacking due to a shortage of qualified subject teachers.
Mandy has engaged with more than 1,000 pupils from primary one through to S4 in a range of programmes including: Springboard Hospitality Takeover days; pop-up hospitality demos in schools; delivery of SVQ 4-lite qualification to S4s at Castlebrae High School; and mentoring for pupils at Craigroyston High School.
Mandy is the first ever winner of the award following the introduction of the category at this year’s event. Mandy saw off still competition from teaching staff from City of Glasgow College and Edinburgh Napier University.
Mandy said: “I’m so proud to have won this award. Over the past year our team has worked with so many schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians to give them an insight into life in the Cookery and Hospitality sector which has been a life-changing experience for me.
“We have worked with pupils who might not necessarily get access to Home Economics and to see the enthusiasm on their faces each time they come to the College or run pop-up kitchens at their schools is so heart-warming.
“I have to thank the entire Professional Cookery and Hospitality team and the Senior Management team at the College, as without their support we would not be able to take forward school projects and work alongside as many amazing young people as we do.”
Edinburgh College head of Tourism, Hospitality and Business Sarah-Jane Linton said: “We’re delighted Mandy has won this award, it is very well deserved.
“Mandy has been a whirlwind of activity the entire time she has been at the College. She goes out of her way to maximise opporutnities for every student and her infectious manner helps to improve the experience for every student in the department – we’re very lucky to have her. “Congratulations, Mandy – we’re all incredibly proud of you and your work.”