Due to the ongoing Covid situation in health and social care around the world, we have reluctantly decided to move this year’s week back three months to June and building our focus week around Thirsty Thursday June 17th, meaning Nutrition and Hydration Week 2021 will be June 14th to 20th.
We know loads of you look forward to the week and everything it means, so we have taken this decision to hopefully enable you to be involved in June, although we do appreciate it may not be full throttle as previous years, and why the 10th anniversary celebrations are on hold for a year as we know you love a celebration.
We are encouraging people to focus this year’s messaging on staff well-being especially around their nutrition and hydration.
This is how it all began ……
As we reach the 10th edition of the week, we thought it might be timely to remind you the week’s humble beginnings and its development. The week was created by Caroline Lecko as an education event to promote good nutrition and hydration in the NHS. At the same time Andy Jones and Derek Johnson were starting to work on a joint focus day to bring social care and hospital caterers together to have a stronger voice to promote catering in those sectors through their professional associations.
We all knew each other from various conferences and working groups during the previous decade, after Caroline’s second week she asked if she could wrap her week around what would be the inaugural Focus Day. In fact, it was decided between the three of us that a week would be better anyway, so Nutrition and Hydration Week as you now know it was born.
It has been a learning curve for the three of us, by profession we are a nurse and two caterers. Somethings you’ll see have worked others haven’t… but we haven’t let it stop us from developing the week more to support the great care you deliver every day.
Rule number one for us was (and is) that the week must be positive. Many of the campaigns over the last 10 years have been negative and have not reflect the amazing initiatives and developments people are delivering too overcome their issues. Great ideas were and are being lost or overlooked.
We set out some aims for people to build their week’s activities around, principally an Afternoon Tea Party on the Wednesday of the week. Why global, simply because Andy and Derek had been involved in an ill-fated international group of health and social care caterers, which got bogged down in its own being rather than share the various good practices taking place in the field. So, it was a vision to join up these contacts and deliver through a tea party - a feel-good platform for sharing good practice and ideas.
In effect we aimed for the stars in the hope we could reach the moon.
After the first combined week it was clear we were going to follow it up with another, during our first planning meeting for the week in 2013 we were already talking about 2014 and beyond! We had no budget initially, the two professional association tried to promote it via their PR, but it didn’t prove to be effective. So paid for PR was dropped in favour of social media, and over the subsequent years we have created a social movement.
Despite functioning for a couple of years with no budget it was clear some funding was going to be required so sponsors were sought. We are thankful for Nestle, Tetley, Laughing Cow, Ocean Spray and Simple Measures for sponsoring us in the past, and this year we welcome two more sponsors to take us in to our second decade McVitie’s and Lakeland. The sponsorship, as well has enabling our back of house functions to be paid for (website, social media planning, emailing, postage, etc) enables us to provide thousands of promotional items to you our supporters across the world.
Even through these challenging times with the pandemic your support of the week and the events we run throughout 2020 has been inspiring.
Through your support we not only run the ‘main’ week in March but hold a hydration focus event in June “Thirsty Thursday” and continues our social media campaign to promote “Mealtimes Matter” focus month in October. These are all linked together every Monday with “Tip of the Week” - not our tip but those submitted by yourselves for sharing to your peers.
Over the years it has been interesting receiving calls from people asking to speak to our media or marketing departments, there is still just the three of us, keeping it ticking over for you to utilise and promote and share your good practice.
So, from an exchange of emails and an initial meeting in Leicester, a decade of events have been celebrated, thanks to you our wonderful supporters.
This year more than ever you need to be the first to celebrate your great work.
The Week’s Aims are:
As we celebrate the 10th edition we thought it timely to remind everyone of the week’s aims:
• Promote the 10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care
• Promote Protected Mealtimes / Mealtime Matter
• Nutrition Advocates / Champions for each health and social care setting
• Minimum Standards for Good Nutrition in each setting
• Sharing good nutrition and hydration practices
• Promoting Continued Education and Profession Development
• Promoting good nutrition and hydration for staff teams
To assist you in developing your network of support for staff well-being through nutrition and hydration, we are pleased to announce that further guidance for setting up Nutrition Champions or Advocates in your organisations is being added to our website in the lead up to Nutrition and Hydration Week in June. These templates can be formatted to reflect your organisation’s corporate style and help you further embed good nutrition and hydration throughout your workplace.
Hopefully it will save you time in having to design from scratch your information, training tools, certificates and posters.
News source: Nutrition & Hydrations Week