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Based in Leicester, LOROS (Leicester, Leicestershire, & Rutland Organisation for the Relief of Suffering) is a hospice that has provided high-quality care and support to terminally ill patients, their family and their carers in Leicestershire and Rutland for over 40 years.
Hospices require powerful kitchen equipment to meet patients’ complex range of dietary requirements, as well providing food for visitors and staff. These requirements include allergen safety and providing different textures of food for patients with difficulties swallowing. With LOROS supporting over 2500 patients every year, kitchen equipment needs to perform well, be extremely reliable and energy efficient.
The current facility was opened in 1986, and until recently the kitchen had remained largely unchanged since then. “Some of the equipment was really beginning to show its age,” says Richard Hill, facility operations manager at LOROS explains. “It was costing a lot to keep it operating, it was in need of modernisation.”
As with many charities, fundraising is a vital activity at LOROS. While they receive some funding from the Care Commissioning Group, LOROS needs to raise at least £6 million every year to keep delivering high quality care to patients. The cost of refurbishing not just the kitchens but also the dining and social areas would have been a major challenge without the support of a number of companies.
Richard initially approached David Bentley of Bentley Consulting in 2018 to oversee the project. “Having seen the work that LOROS does, I knew that not only should we discount the fees charged for this project, but also gather the support of other companies to ensure as much of the charity’s money as possible was being used for the important work it does,” says David.
The next step of gathering the right team for this job occurred at Falcon Foodservice Equipment’s Christmas dinner in 2019. David was sitting next to Peter Kitchin, managing director of C&C Catering Equipment Ltd. “David said he was doing the project at cost to the hospice,” says Peter. “So I agreed that we would do the same.”
Falcon, along with other manufacturers and suppliers, all agreed to help the hospice on a similar basis.
The newly refurbished kitchen at LOROS features a selection of equipment from Falcon’s range. This includes the Falcon Dominator Plus G3106, a gas powered fan assisted oven range with six burners. The oven is compatible with 2/1 GN pans, which gives it the capacity to handle large batches of food at once. “It’s simple to use and clean, and very robust,” says Richard. “Also, the feature that stops the gas flame when the door is opened and reignites it once it closes is very useful, and very energy efficient.”
Frying is a vital function of most kitchens, and LOROS has two deep fat fryers to meet its needs. The G3830 and G3860 are also part of the Dominator Plus range, and are single pan fryers 300mm and 600mm wide, respectively. The G3860 can produce up to 54kg of chips an hour and the G3830’s output is 32kg of chips in the same time. “They’re very easy to fill and empty, and heat up very quickly,” says Richard.
LOROS also uses a Falcon F900 E600 rise and fall grill. This uses a powerful infra-red heating element and automatic plate detection, which gives instant heat and precise temperature control ensuring perfect results. It’s compatible with 1/1 gastronorm pans, making it suitable for cooking or holding food at peak temperature until required. “The staff love how easy it is to use,” says Richard. “The preset functions make it simple to program, and the automatic start and stop helps save time and energy too.”
As well as upgrading the traditional equipment in the kitchen, LOROS took delivery of a Lainox Naboo gas direct steam combi oven, one of the brands distributed by Falcon in the UK. This multifunctional unit has a capacity of ten 1/1 GN pans, with a powerful control system programmed from a 10 inch touchscreen interface. The capacity and speed of thecombi is making a huge difference to catering at LOROS. “Being able to program our own recipes for later use is a great time saving feature,” says Richard. “The self-cleaning function also saves our team a lot of time. The way the Naboo automatically switches into Eco mode when not in use helps to save energy. It’s a fantastic piece of equipment, and it’s changed our service for the better.”
With the kitchen at LOROS fully modernised the hospice is well positioned to continue providing first class care to patients for many years to come. “Our kitchen team have always been able to provide a quality food service,” says Richard. “With the arrival of the new equipment they will be able to raise their standards even higher. We are very grateful to Falcon and all the companies who worked to deliver this equipment for cost price or less.”
The other companies involved were Meiko, Mechline, C&C Catering Fabrications Ltd, True Refrigeration, EAIS and HMA Ventilation.
The way at which these companies worked together to help LOROS also impressed David Bentley. “This project has only strengthened my belief that catering is more than an industry, it’s a family,” he says. “When needed, we all know how to support each other for the greater good of others. My sincere thanks go to everyone who was involved with this project”.
Paul Parry, project director at C&C Catering Equipment Ltd, agrees. “We are delighted to have been involved in this very worthy project, and to have managed the scheme at cost in order to support this brilliant new facility. It’s fantastic to see the project come to fruition and to have had such great support from David Bentley and all of the manufacturers involved.”
Falcon’s managing director Peter McAllister says, “Being part of a collaborative effort like the LOROS project has been inspirational. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have been spent in a hugely worthwhile cause. Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved, and, of course, to everyone at LOROS for their fantastic work.”
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