North West's best chef 2014
CATERING staff at Southport
hospital are celebrating winning a clutch of awards. Chef Karl
Watling, 24, was named North West Chef of the Year at the Hospital
Caterers Association Awards held in Bury. The honour came only a
week after he was named Support Worker of the Year at Southport and
Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust Pride Awards held at the resort's Floral
Karl, who with colleagues cooks meals for patients and visitors to
the hospital restaurant, was nominated for the regional catering
award by his manager Tracy Potter. She said:- "Karl was
showing a real passion for cooking and wanted to learn more so he
did a NVQ level 3 in his own time at Southport College. He has
brought some amazing dishes to the restaurant. This has improved
income and created a buzz throughout the Trust as customers are
spreading the word about his amazing dishes.”
Karl's prize was a trophy and £100 with judges looking for someone
who leads by example, sets high standards, motivates the team and
strives for excellence. "It was a privilege to be
nominated and have my work and my colleagues' recognised.”
Karl started working at Southport hospital in early 2013 but 47
years earlier his colleague Renate Bengs began working in the
kitchens of the former Southport General Infirmary.
The 69 year old catering assistant and former team leader was
commended for her service with the title of North West Diamond
Catering Assistant 2014 at the Bury awards event for her long
The criteria were for a catering assistant who was dependable,
reliable, always willing to help and had that something special. She
retired aged 60, but returned to work two months later "because
I was bored.”
BLOCK NEW MATERNITY RIGHTS AS PART OF REGULATORY REFORM AGENDA
GMB commented on
announcement that the EU Commission has used the regulatory reform
agenda to block proposals to extend maternity pay from 14 weeks to
The EU pregnant workers directive is a fundamental source of
maternity rights at work in the UK, and the proposals were aimed at
further strengthening these rights:-
► The main point of contention in the proposals was the one to
extend minimum maternity leave from 14 to 20 weeks, on full pay
(based on last monthly salary or average monthly salary). The UK in
particular argued this measure would be too expensive and make women
less employable. The UK currently lags behind many Member States in
terms of maternity leave pay.
► The proposals also looked at strengthening legal provisions for
pregnant workers, for example their right not be forced to perform
night work or overtime, and their right to breastfeed at work.
► The proposals recommend better dialogue between employers and
trade unions to facilitate woman's reinsertion in workplace, support
► The proposals also aimed to ensure that the working time of
pregnant workers takes into account the need for medical check-ups
Kathleen Walkershaw, GMB Brussels Officer, said:- "The
Commission has used the same process to block the proposed maternity
rights as they used to block the employer/union agreement on
hairdressing health and safety.
EU Commission claims that with REFIT; regulatory reform agenda; it
is making EU legislation simpler, clearer and less costly. This is
yet more proof that regulatory reform means deregulation and attacks
on worker's rights and protections.... as if we needed it.
This isn't better regulation this is deregulation, and it is workers
who are paying the price. All of this is stacked in the interests of
business and the costs are being paid by those with little means to
The EU Commission seems hell bent on making people love Europe less.
It should put its shoulder behind promoting health and safety and
pregnant workers' rights and putting a beating heart back in to a
Social Europe, not cutting off its circulation."
- Guitarist of the Year to rock The Atkinson!
Report with thanks to John
THE great news for rock,
live music lovers and aspiring musicians in and around Southport, is
McGregor will be playing
in her band at The Atkinson, on Friday, 27 June 2014, and put
simply; this will be a fantastic experience and night to remember!
Winning 4 awards in the last 3 years and being the 1st female to be
voted Guitarist of the Year in 2013, is something that Chantel is
very proud of and is indicative of her increasing popularity in and
outside of the UK. In an industry where male guitarists have been
dominant and received most of the limelight on and off stage, what a
refreshing change and a justifiable 1st, that a female artist was
voted Guitarist of the Year and that Chantel has been nominated for
this award again in 2014! Jamming on stage with Joe Bonamassa on 2
of his tours so far, Chantel is a formidable guitar player, a very
talented singer songwriter and her live performances are truly
captivating! A quote in Nightshift, Oxford's music magazine,
reinforces this:- "Chantel McGregor deserves to be held up as
a messiah of blues rock and given her own mountain, she doesn't
strum or pick her guitar but almost bends and distorts it, as if
she's channelling the ghost of Hendrix through her fingers"
You can listen to Chantel playing 2 rocky numbers from her debut
album "Like No Other" in her band
online or on a quieter
note, you can see and listen to a solo acoustic version of one of
Chantel's original songs on
YouTube and her beautiful
stripped back version of Bruno Mars "Grenade" also on
YouTube Don't miss out on
seeing Chantel play at The Atkinson, located on Lord Street, in
Southport, Merseyside (PR8 1DB). Advance tickets are £12 + bf or £14
on the door and to book, please call:- 01704 533 333 or go
online. To see, hear and
find out more about Chantel and where she is playing next, please
website. Don't be late,
doors open at 8pm.
Charity on the look out for
winning Sea Snap
AS families across Britain
flock to the beaches this summer, 1 of the UK's oldest maritime
charities has launched a competition to find the best visual
portrayal of our nation's connection with the sea to mark Seafarers
Awareness Week that started on 21 June and runs until 29 June 2014.
The Shipwrecked Mariners' Society, which celebrates its 175th
anniversary this year and provides financial support to retired
seafarers in need, or to those unable to continue working at sea as
a result of injury or illness, is encouraging entries to the
competition which is on the lookout for photos encapsulating the
UK's love of and reliance on the sea.
The competition, which is in its 2nd year, will be judged by a panel
► Matt Havercroft, Editor of
Discover Britain Magazine.
► Kate Westaway, a marine
photographer and TV producer.
► Commodore Malcolm Williams, the
Charity's chief executive.
Running from the Charity's
website, and across social
media, participants are being encouraged to send in their
photographs of what they believe best encapsulates Britain's coast,
seafarers and the sea; whether in relation to the work of fishermen,
merchant mariners, or wildlife, seascapes; anything which shows and
celebrates our intimate connection with, and reliance on the sea and
As an island nation the UK relies on merchant shipping for 95% of
its imports and 75% of exports. The UK's sea ports handle over half
a billion tonnes of goods each year, with more than 35,000 UK
fishermen and merchant mariners employed in shipping.
Shipwrecked Mariners' Society Chief Executive, Malcolm Williams,
said:- "Last year we had more than 200 competition entries and
selecting the winner proved to be quite a task. We are looking
forward to seeing the different interpretations of the brief this
year which we hope will show the full scope of our continuing
connection with and reliance on the sea. Through this campaign,
marking Seafarers Awareness Week, we want to draw attention to all
those who dedicate their lives to the seafaring professions and who
may need our help during difficult times in their retirement or
following accident or illness that prevents them following their
In the last year the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society handled 650 new
applications for assistance and distributed £1.4million across 2,200
cases of need.
The deadline for entry is 5pm on Friday, 8 August 2014. To
enter the competition, full terms and conditions and for more
information about the work of the Society visit:-
the society's Facebook
Page or follow them on
twitter pages at:- @ShipwreckedSoc.