YMCA awarded by the council for its commitment to healthier catering

Merton Council awarded the YMCA Wimbledon this week for meeting every single measure of the London Healthier Catering Commitment scheme. The initiative gets businesses who offer food to provide healthier options and make subtle changes to their food preparation.

Since the launch of the scheme in 2011, over 20 businesses have joined the scheme in Merton and from July, some of the original signees and new additions have been reassessed against the criteria by the council’s public health team. These include Arthurs Café in Wimbledon Park, Kebaby in Morden, Fresh Fish in South Wimbledon and the Pollards Hill Lunch Club.


Merton Council’s director of public health, Dr Kay Eilbert and the YMCA’s chef and catering manager, Sarah Cavell

The YMCA Wimbledon became the first premises to be reassessed that met all the 24 criteria of the healthier catering commitment. To mark this achievement, Merton’s director of public health Dr Kay Eilbert presented the YMCA with a certificate to their chef and catering manager, Sarah Carvell.

Merton’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Caroline Cooper Marbiah, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the YMCA who caters for many people in the community. The sticker on the window indicates the commitment the YMCA has in making healthier choices when it comes to food. I encourage other businesses and organisations to sign up to the healthier catering commitment. This will go a far way in making Merton a healthier place to live and work.”

Merton’s director of public health, Dr Kay Eilbert, said: “Over 20 businesses in the borough have signed up to the healthier catering commitment and we want more to do the same. Making a few minor changes to the way meals are prepared for members of the public and offering smaller portion sizes can go a long way to reducing health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease.”

Sarah Carvell, chef and catering manager at YMCA Wimbledon (part of YMCA London South West), said: “Being a part of the Healthier Catering Commitment for London is important to YMCA London South West for several reasons. Firstly, because it fits with the YMCA ethos to help people live healthy lives. Secondly, it is about giving people choices and ensuring healthy food is affordable and available. Also, by committing to this scheme we are staying on top of the current trends and development in the catering business.

“We are very proud to be the first business in Merton to fulfil all of the 24 essential and desired criteria. Most of this we did already, but some of the recommendations we took on board following the inspection from the council”.

For more information on the healthier catering commitment, visit www.merton.gov.uk/healthier_catering_commitment